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Jamaica officials to testify in Trafigura case

September 21, 2013

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A Jamaican court has ordered Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and other officials to testify in open court as part of an investigation against a Dutch oil trading firm.

Simpson-Miller and other members of the People’s National Party had sought to testify in private for Dutch prosecutors pursuing a case against Trafigura Beheer BV. The company is accused of paying the prime minister’s party $460,000 leading up to 2007 elections. That payment resulted in the 2006 resignation of a top official in Simpson-Miller’s government.

It is illegal for Dutch companies to donate to political parties, but Trafigura has said it was not barred from doing so under Jamaican law.

Defense attorney Bert Samuels had argued that the government officials had diplomatic immunity, but Jamaica’s Constitutional Court ruled against them late Friday.

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