On the same day that the Attorney General moved to the Appeal Court over a judgment that could see the Finance Minister facing jail time for not honouring a Court order to pay over US$2million in a judgment against the state, the President has stepped in and granted the Finance Minister a respite of the execution of the punishment.
In the order, President David Granger stated that “by the powers vested in me under Article 188 (1) (b) of the Constitution, and after consultation with the Minister designated by me under Article 188 (2) of the Constitution I hereby grant Mr. Winston Jordan, in his personal capacity and as the Honourable Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament, a respite of the execution of the punishment imposed on him until all appeals and remedies available to him and the State have been exhausted”.
The President’s executive order has in fact put a hold on any punishment being meted out to the Finance Minister as ordered by the High Court and upheld by the Full Court.
This morning the Finance Minister complained that he did not know why he was facing punishment in his personal capacity for a decision of the Court against the state.
He explained also that the case dates back to the previous administration and a court matter with the Trinidadian construction company from more than a decade ago.
High Court Judge Priya Sewnarine Beharry had ruled that the Finance Minister needed to pay up the over US$2million by today or face 21 days in jail for being in contempt of the Court order.