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Gillian Mullings takes former bankers case to Privy Council

November 2002

DONOVAN CRAWFORD, former head of the Century financial entities has chosen to by-pass the Court Appeal in his ongoing battle to overturn a court order that maintains that he must pay $2.2 billion to the Government-owned Financial Institutions Services Limited (FIS).

He has ignored a Court of Appeal ruling and has headed straight to the United Kingdom Privy Council for a determination of the $2-billion judgment which the Financial Institutions Services (FIS) obtained against Crawford and his companies.

Crawford's lawyer, Oswald James, who is instructing attorneys-at-law Patrick Bailey and Gillian Mullings of the law firm Patrick Bailey and Company will make the announcement in the Court of Appeal tomorrow.

The announcement will be made when the motion brought by FIS' lawyers, Myers Fletcher and Gordon comes for hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Documents were filed in the Court of Appeal Registry on Friday that Crawford's application for special leave is set for hearing in the Privy Council on January 13 or 14.

An appellant can apply to the Court of Appeal for leave to go to the United Kingdom Privy Council or go directly by way of special leave to the Privy Council.

FIS is contending that Crawford has not paid legal fees to its lawyers and is seeking an order to rescind the conditional leave which the Court of Appeal granted last year for Crawford to file the relevant documents to the Privy Council. The motion is set for hearing tomorrow.

After Crawford was granted conditional leave to go to the Privy Council FIS' lawyers had obtained an order from a Court of Appeal Judge that if Crawford did not pay the law firm's legal fees amounting to $7.6 million then FIS' lawyer could apply for an order to bar him from getting final leave to go to the Privy Council.

Court of Appeal Judge Henderson Downer had ruled in chambers in February this year, that Crawford should pay the legal fees within 60 days failing which FIS' lawyers could apply to the Court of Appeal to bar him from getting final leave.

An application was made in July this year to bar Crawford from going to the Privy Council because he did not pay the legal fees but when the matter came for hearing in the Court of Appeal, Crawford's lawyers informed the court that Crawford was appealing Justice Downer's ruling. The Court of Appeal then put off FIS' application until the appeal was heard.

Crawford is contending that the judge's ruling was a breach of his constitutional rights. He is contending that the judge had no legal authority to make such an order. Crawford's appeal is pending in the Court of Appeal.

Last year, the Court of Appeal upheld a Supreme Court ruling that Crawford and his companies must pay FIS nearly $2 billion owing to it as a result of loan transactions from the now defunct Century financial entities to Crawford and his companies.

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