Drop McCaffrey report
Thursday, March 26 2009
LAWYERS for Udecott and its executive chairman Calder Hart yesterday asked the commissioners to exclude the Gerry McCaffrey report from evidence in the inquiry, arguing the report can only be considered if McCaffrey takes the stand.
“Mr McCaffrey’s report is not in evidence and it will not be in evidence until it is spoken to by Mr McCaffrey,” Udecott attorney Andrew Goddard QC argued as he joined in an application made by attorney Frank Solomon SC, lawyer for Hart.
Both lawyers argued that Uff should not refer to McCaffrey’s report in the proceedings until it is formally admitted into evidence. “McCaffrey is not in evidence. Regard McCaffrey’s report as an indicator to you of where you can probe,” Solomon urged Uff, at the start of yesterday’s proceedings which saw two witnesses take the stand.
“The commissioners had not envisaged that McCaffrey would be brought to the stand. If the parties take a view that he should appear then we will consider that application and then we will request that that would be arranged,” Uff said.
Realising they had unwittingly effectively called for McCaffrey to testify in the proceedings, both Solomon and Goddard sought to clarify their positions. “Please do not suggest I am interested in Mr McCaffrey returning to this country,” Solomon said. “I am not asking that Mr McCaffrey be brought back and quite frankly, I will not be seduced into so doing.”
Goddard pointed out that according to the procedural rules of the inquiry, McCaffrey’s report had to be affirmed.
“For the moment, the report is before us and we do not need to make a ruling on its status. We should defer any formal decision until we hear from any other parties,” Uff said, noting that attorneys for other parties in the inquiry were not present when the application was made.
McCaffrey’s initial report effectively cleared former housing minister Dr Keith Rowley of any wrongdoing in the Cleaver Heights affair and raised serious questions about several Udecott projects including the Brian Lara Stadium project.