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Silk Legal now cleared for final written submissions to COI

Silk Legal now cleared for final written submissions to COI

Commission of Inquiry (COI), has now granted an extension for Silk Legal to make final written submissions to the investigative body.

The law firm — which is representing for non-Cabinet members of the House of Assembly — was previously denied the privilege after it did not respond to previous directions from the Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom on the matter of closing submissions.

Sir Gary Hickinbottom granted the extension during a hearing yesterday ahead of Governor John Rankin’s follow-up appearance next Wednesday.

“In the absence of any information, the COI’s press notice which notified the public of the date of the [upcoming] hearing, noted that Silk Legal hadn’t complied with the directions concerning closing submissions nor applied for an extension,“ COI attorney Bilal Rawat said.

He continued: “What almost immediately followed was what purported to be closing submissions, and these, while apologising for ‘missing the deadline for filing final submissions’, gave no explanation as to why it was missed nor do they make an application for an extension of time to comply with the order.”

Notwithstanding the lateness of those written submissions from Silk Legal, Sir Gary said he will still take them into account.

“I don’t see at this stage of the COI that there is any benefit in exploring why this deadline like so many other deadlines was missed,” said Sir Gary who noted that Silk Legal will not be making oral submissions during the live hearing next week.

AG has not made closing submissions

Meanwhile, Attorney General (AG) Dawn Smith, sought a further extension to make closing submissions on behalf of the government.

Applications from the AG received on two occasions for an extension of time until November 29 were twice refused, Rawat said.

Sir Gary responded to the request, stating that he was prepared to allow an extension until November 15, but on this date another extension was requested and again refused.

Attorney Edward Russo-Gill, appearing on behalf of the AG, said he would not be applying to make oral submissions but gave an indication that written submissions were likely to be made on Monday, November 22 instead.


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