Jordan appeals judge’s orders to pay Dipcon or face jail

Finance Minister Winston Jordan

Finance Minister Winston Jordan is challenging a High Court order for him to pay in excess of US$2.2M to Trinidadian Construction firm, Dipcon, or be jailed.

The proceedings were filed on Tuesday asking the Appellate Court to set aside, reserve and/or varied the judgement handed down by High Court Judge Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

Chief among the grounds in the Notice of Appeal was that the trial judge erred and misdirected herself when she proceeded to hear the application for contempt against Minister Jordan in his personal capacity for monies alleged to be owed by the State and Government of Guyana.

It was outlined that there was no action, proceeding, judgement or order made against the Finance Minister in his private capacity hence the application was bad in law. It further stated, among other things, that the High Court judge erred when she failed to set aside the entire proceedings, which was misconceived.

Additionally, the legal document outlined that the trial judge erred when she refused to grant the stay of the order for contempt to permit the State and Government of Guyana to pure the process of Appeal, and that she further misdirected herself on the evidence as a whole.

On Monday, Justice Sewnarine-Beharry ordered Minister Jordan to pay DIPCON the US$2.2 million award or face jail time.

The Trinidad-based construction company had taken the Finance Minister to court for failing to honour the payment of millions of dollars, which was awarded to DIPCON Justice Rishi Persaud in 2015.

After DIPCON took the Government to court back in 2009 to recover monies owed for road works done, Justice Rishi Persaud had ordered Government to pay the company US$665,032.17 as payment for the works done along with US$1,563,368.50 for costs it incurred for those works, together with interest on both amounts, at a rate of six per cent annum from February 10th 2009, to October 21st, 2015 and thereafter at the rate of four per cent per annum until fully paid.

However, none of the payments were made to date and as such, DIPCON successfully approached the court for an administrative order to compel the minister to make the payment.