When Sir Anthony Colman's Enquiry into the collapse of CLICO and the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) resumes tomorrow, the first order of business will be for attorneys for the Ministry of Finance to make public their change of counsel.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Finance fired its 18-month-old legal team of Fyard Hosein SC and Michael Quamina and replaced them with Law Association president Seenath Jairam SC, Joseph Toney and Jagdeo Singh.
The public criticism for accepting the brief and the conflict of interest which it presented to Jairam caused him to return the brief to the Ministry.
Toney followed suit but Singh held on as junior counsel. Last Friday, the Ministry selected Queen's Counsel Vincent Nelson and attorney Roger Kawalsingh, as well as Singh to be its new legal team.
Peter Carter, QC, counsel to the Commission told the Sunday Express yesterday that the Ministry of Finance will have to make public their change of counsel.
Even though the issue was reported in the media, it needs to be put on the record of the Enquiry. Apart from that, Carter explained that the lawyers will also have to apply for an extension of the time for the Ministry of Finance to give evidence.
However, Carter said he has already determined that the application will be heard on Thursday morning. He pointed out that the HCU part of the Enquiry will be heard from Monday to Wednesday.
He said other parties to the Commission, such as CLICO will also have an opportunity on Thursday to say how the extension to the Ministry of Finance will affect them.
"We will wait and see what the application involves," he said during a telephone interview yesterday.
The Sunday Express understands that Carter and CLICO met last Friday to discuss those matters.
Carter said he did not think the change in counsel for the Ministry of Finance would affect the time table which the Commission has given itself to conclude evidential hearings by May 2013.
The Commission was appointed in November 2010.
The Commission has been plagued with several challenges, including the failure of witnesses to turn up and give evidence. Among the high profile names who have yet to take the witness box are former CL Financial chief operating officer Andre Monteil, former CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey and former governor of the Central Bank Ewart Williams.