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CMU to explain to PAAC why it hired lawyer to represent it in corruption probe

Dr. Grace McLean, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education
 
Professor Fritz Pinnock, President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), is to appear before parliament's Public Administration and Public Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday to explain why the institution has hired an attorney to represent it in the corruption probe by the Financial Investigation Division (FID).
 
Attorney Hugh Wildman confirmed to the Gleaner newspaper that he has been hired by the CMU and a senior employee to challenge court orders obtained by the FID.
 
During Wednesday morning's sitting of the PAAC, acting chairman Mikael Phillips, questioned whether this was meant to frustrate the investigation.
 
He said the Auditor General is also having a similar challenge getting documents from the CMU.
 
Dr. Grace McLean, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, who was leading a team from the ministry, said she was unable to respond to the questions, indicating that she would request that Professor Pinnock attend the sitting to be questioned.
 
Dr. McLean said the Ministry of Education has "complied fully with the request of the Financial Investigation Division as well as the Auditor General" and the ministry has encouraged other ministry agencies and departments to do the same "at all times". 
 
According to the Gleaner, earlier this year, the FID went to court and obtained several orders compelling the CMU and some of its senior executives to turn over critical documents to investigators.
 
Mr. Wildman has denied that the legal challenge was part of any attempt to thwart investigators.
 
He told the Gleaner that the court orders are defective and confirmed that he will be going to the Constitutional Court to have them tossed out based on the method used to obtain them.
                               
                                                                      


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