Passport and travel documents will not be returned
Prominent commercial attorney P.J. Asher continues to drink from the cup of woe in a legal battle with Roy DeCambre involving French energy giant Total.
On Friday (May 13), in Court 5 of the Supreme Court, Asher, who is facing a number of fraud charges sought a modification to his bail condition, return of his passport and the removal of stop orders at ports, effectively allowing him to travel.
This was struck down by Supreme Court Judge Vinette Graham Allen with Asher deemed a flight risk.
The Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) representative informed the court that investigations are ongoing on other related charges.
It was also revealed that Asher was in possession of a United States passport as well as the Jamaican passport he previously surrendered. The judge then fixed October 21, 2022, for case management, a matter she noted was long overdue.
Asher’s bail was extended on the terms specified. His attorney, Carolyn Reid Cameron QC made a plea on humanitarian, medical and constitutional grounds, after presenting his travel itinerary to depart on May 23 and return to Jamaica on July 31st.
The prosecutor informed the court that she will be proceeding with the 19 counts of fraud and investigations remain ongoing.
A party to the proceedings quipped, “This effectively clips P.J. Asher’s wings. He will now have to stay put in Jamaica. He strenuously denies all claims made against him and must now work with his lawyers to defend his honour.”
Last month, the 55-year-old Jamaican corporate and commercial lawyer was charged by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption unit (MOCA) with fraudulent transfer of land and forgery.
The charges in that matter relate to a Featherbed Lane (St Catherine) gas station owned by Roy DeCambre’s National Fuels & Lubricants, now operated by Total Jamaica, a subsidiary of the French energy giant.
DeCambre has made an accusation of fraud and is claiming US$400 million in income derived by Total from gas stations previously operated by him which he agreed to sell to the company.
He is also claiming interest, damages and the return of the 10 gas stations.
P.J. Asher was the company secretary, director and legal representative for Total Jamaica.
He insists that he never defrauded or intended to defraud nor forge documents concerning the contentious transaction.