(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin, who was education minister when Hassan Syed became the UCCI president, failed to answer questions sent to him by the police investigating the allegations that Syed had stolen over $500,000. The court heard Thursday that as well as McLaughlin, the UCCI board chair at the time Syed was appointed, Danny Scott, also failed to respond to police, despite significant efforts by the senior investigator in the case, Rudolph Gordon, who said they were important witnesses.
Gordon, the crown’s final witness in the case against Syed, said that as far as he was aware, neither McLaughlin nor Scott, the former boss of Cayman General Insurance (Sagicor), ever answered the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit’s questions in the case.
He said that both men were sent pro forma statement forms with numerous questions that the police believed were relevant to the inquiry. He confirmed that similar statement forms were sent out to many witnesses, a very large number of whom responded.
But despite efforts by him and his team to chase Scott and McLaughlin, who were considered important witnesses, the police were never able to get answers from them. Several emails were sent to McLaughlin for him to return the form with his answers but the police never received a response, the officer told the jury.
Gordon confirmed that he had made significant and repeated efforts to get answers from Scott, and until he left the FCU in 2010, was constantly calling and emailing the one-time chairman for his answers or to arrange an interview. He said that at one point Scott had agreed to an interview but he was never available.