Judge’s position unclear

Uncertainty continues to surround the future of Grand Court Justice Priya Levers who is still yet to appear in court after returning from leave in early August.

For the fourth consecutive week, the justice was listed as ‘writing judgements’ on the Grand Court’s schedule for this week.

Contacted by the Caymanian Compass recently, Justice Levers said: ‘I wish to make no comment on my position.’ She said she expects Governor Stuart Jack will clarify the situation ‘at the appropriate time.’

The justice added: ‘nothing like questionable receipts were found in the back of my car. That is just an absolute untruth.’

The judge was referring to comments made by Rooster 101.9FM morning talk show host Ellio Solomon, who told listeners twice on-air on 22 July that he understood a Grand Court justice had been suspended after suspect documents were found in the justice’s car.

Mr. Solomon did not name the judge nor state the basis on which he had made the claim and did not mention the matter again throughout that morning’s show.

A spokesperson for Mr. Jack told the Compass last week the Governor had nothing to say to the media at this time on any justice.

Speculation over Justice Levers’ future on the Cayman bench has been swirling around legal circles since mid-July, forcing Chief Justice Anthony Smellie to issue a terse one-line statement on 23 July denying the judge had been suspended.

‘The reports that Justice Levers has been suspended are incorrect. The Judge is presently away on leave,’ he said at the time.

In a statement to the Compass the following day, Mr. Jack confirmed he had recently met with Justice Levers but said the meeting did not result in any substantive change in the justice’s employment situation.

‘If there were to be any substantive change to the employment of any Justice then the Governor would make a statement at that time,’ the statement said.

Justice Levers was sworn in as the Grand Court’s first female judge in March 2003, after 25 years of private practice in Jamaica.

The Sri-Lankan native and citizen of Jamaica also worked as a defence attorney in Bermuda before becoming that country’s first female Crown Counsel in 1973.

The judge has also worked as a barrister and attorney in England, Sri-Lanka and India and was admitted to the bar in the Cayman Islands in 1990.

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