The Case of Stuart Syvret
Former Health Minister Stuart Syvret has been ordered to pay debts of almost £68,000 to the Treasurer. The Royal Court ruled today (Friday) that the Treasury was entitled to claim back the cost of legal fees relating to previous court battles. But Mr Syvret argued that Judge Howard Page QC was conflicted and the court was corrupt, in that the Judge was "friends with the Prosecution." He asked the Judge to "recuse himself" and step down from the case on the grounds of bias, but his application was declined. Mr Syvret claims the debts that the Treasurer is seeking are unjustified. He said, "The purported debts against me have no validity, they are fraudulent and have been obtained through dishonesty." He claims the Treasurer is pursuing the debts illegally in order to bankrupt him so that he cannot stand for election in October. (CTV News)
The former Senator applied to the court for an adjournment and then an appeal against the case. Howard Page QC said, "We will not allow you to use this court as a platform for your wider views." He ruled, "We are not prepared to grant you further extension of time. This is simply a matter of debt outstanding." Mr Syvret says he will now appeal against the court's refusal to grant an appeal.
I see Stuart Syvret is in Court. There is no way on earth he has £68,000 and they must know that. I am not too up to date with the Jersey law, but assuming it works like the UK law, if he cannot pay, they can enforce bankruptcy proceedings.
Timing is clearly significant. Why on earth has there been a delay until now? It could have been enforced months ago, after all, it is not likely there is a rich old granny, waiting in the wings, about to die! And even if there were, if bankrupt, the Court could claim the monies anyway. After all, the costs relate to Syvret's 2011 conviction for data protection offences and a failed attempt to sue the States.
Which means that while the debt is not "fraudulent" - he has incurred the debts - the timing may not be not "simply a matter of debt outstanding". I cannot see that the Court would delay matters out of the kindness of its heart. One month or three months is unlikely to impact on his inability to pay.
It therefore certain appears to be at least partly political in motivation. If he has also had this action threatened once before, once the Pitman's lost their seat, the clear intention is to force bankruptcy before the election nominations, or before he has a chance to declare himself as a candidate.
"It's interesting that these debts appeared to have been forgotten about until the day after the two deputorial seats were declared vacant when the Pitmans were bankrupted out of the States," he said. "Suddenly after several years these debts were resurrected and two enforcement officers came pounding at my door telling me to turn up at court and that was the day after the two seats were declared vacant.
"That effectively stopped me and intimidated me from being a candidate"
Now the claim must have been initiated by the Treasurer of the States, or on her behalf, but she has resigned. That leaves a bit of a hiatus so one has to wonder if the Treasury Minister was involved in the action? Could this indeed be another reason Laura Rowley decided to call it a day? But, with her gone and a successor yet to be officially appointed, just who is pulling the strings and making decisions at Treasury?
Now the summer is upon is, this blog will have a bit of a rest. There will be fewer and shorter postings as I want to enjoy the sunshine, and get some healthy walking!
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