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Former PM and Ex-Lands Minister stymie Portico probe

Former Minister of Natural Resources, Hugo Patt, who appeared in front of the Senate Special Select Committee on Wednesday, effectively blocked any question relating to questionable land transactions that occurred around the time that the Portico Agreement was signed. 

 

Patt’s attorney, Senior Council Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, quickly jumped to Patt's Defense when the ex-minister was questioned by Senator Kevin Herrera about land transfers and whether Portico had applied for any of those lands under its own name.

 

“Madam Chair, … once the questions become specific regarding Portico and any applications made in the name of Portico for lands, I think, that is outside of the scope of the terms of reference and so I will advise my client not to answer that sort of question.”

 

While the session proceeded with mainly questions surrounding the land transfers, those queries centered around processes and requirements that went into land approvals at the Ministry during the time that Patt served as minister.

 

Barrow consistently intervened on his client’s behalf to raise the issue of "relevance of questions.”

 

The Reporter attempted to get a comment from members of the committee on whether they will be looking at revising their terms of reference but no answer has been forthcoming.

 

We did get word from their attorney Dickie Bradley last week and he indicated that he would be liaising with committee members in order to give us a response from them instead of his personal comments.

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