Appeals Court dismisses De Bourg’s request to take Civil Appeal to Privy Council

The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal has dismissed an application to grant leave for attorneys acting for disgraced Capital Bank International boss, Finton De Bourg to take a civil appeal matter to the British Privy Council in England.

A high court judge had imposed a 23-year jail sentence on DeBourg in December 2016 after he was found guilty of 6 counts of Fraud in connection with the financial dealing of the collapsed bank.

A former holder of one of the highest offices in the State has reportedly retained legal counsel to help the imprisoned businessman fight his legal battles.

This newspaper understands that the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the now defunct, Capbank appealed his sentence and sought common-law or compensatory damages as well as statutory damages, resulting from the criminal case that was brought against him by the State.

However, the Court of Appeal reportedly upheld the 23-year sentence slapped on DeBourg, a former General Secretary of the ruling New National Party (NNP).

Legal counsel for the imprisoned controversial banker, seasoned Attorney-at-Law George Prime explained the current dilemma facing his client.

“He (De Bourg) won part of his appeal (because) the (Eastern Caribbean Court (of Appeal) took the view that, he was not entitled to common law damages and (had) allowed the appeal on the issue of statutory damages only, but the State must pay him damages to be accessed”, he said.

In law, common-law damages are categorised into compensatory or actual damages and punitive or exemplary damages, intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit and are most important for violations of the law that are hard to detect.

Statutory damages on the other hand, are a damage award in civil law, in which the amount awarded is stipulated within the statute, rather than being calculated based on the degree of harm to the plaintiff, who in this case is De Bourg.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the De Bourg statutory damages assessment could well run into millions of dollars.

Prime said: “We had appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal saying (that) we are not entitled to Common Law damages…they dismissed it and we therefore appealed to the Privy Council”.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, Prime said that before the defence “can go to the Privy Council the Court of Appeal must give us the leave to go to the Privy Council to deal with the common law damages and they refused to do that”.

This newspaper was told that the Court of Appeal, which sat on island during the week of January 29 to February 6 had agreed to stand down the DeBourg matter to allow for the appearance of Attorney-at-law, Keith Scotland from Trinidad and Tobago, who is supposedly assisting local attorneys Prime and Henry Paryag in the matter.

Scotland did not show up and the court proceeded with the De Bourg appeal matter as no reason was advanced for Scotland’s non-appearance.

Prime said that the next course of action for the defense “is to apply (to the Privy Council) for special leave” as “there is a procedure whereby you can go by way of special leave direct to them (Privy Council).”

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