Ottley Hall Inquiry hits another Joachim Snag
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May 14, 2004
Ottley Hall Inquiry hits another Joachim Snag

The Commission of Inquiry into the failed Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard project hit yet another snag when it restarted Tuesday.
After hearing repeat recordings of former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell and former Attorney General P.R. Campbell Monday it was expected that former chairman of the National Commercial Bank Richard Joachim would finally make his reappearance, this time with counsel. But this was not to be.{{more}}
Instead Nicole Sylvester, counsel representing Joachim, appeared before the Commission to present what she termed preliminary objections to the manner in which her client had been summoned to appear before the Commission.
Among Sylvester’s objections was that the summons contained a procedural error in that it had been signed by the secretary to the Commission Rosalind Harry instead of by the Commissioner himself which she emphasized should have been “properly done.”
Sylvester charged that the “Salmon letter” was “highly prejudicial, grossly unfair and steeped with bias.” She said the notice sent to her client went against the principle laid down by Justice Salmon who made a ruling on such notices. She repeated that that letter was unfair “and smacks hard against the cardinal principles as denunciated by Lord Justice Cyril Salmon.” Sylvester charged that this principle was meant to set out allegations without coming to conclusions.
She further argued that in the interest of fairness to her client she could not have him participate.
Senior Counsel to the Commission Anthony Astaphan, for his part, explained the intention and role of the Salmon letter sent to Richard Joachim. He argued that one had “the duty to indicate in the clearest and strongest terms the nature of the evidence and the inferences that arise from the evidence” in order to give the client, in this case Joachim, time to fully prepare.
A detailed technical argument ensued over the intention of the Salmon letter. Following this Sylvester further surprised the Commission with the decision that she was withdrawing her representation for her client. She further informed the hearing that she had already filed papers in the High Court to have a ruling on the matter of the Salmon letter. This therefore caused an adjourn-