Scoon was in the process of cross-examining accountant Madan Ramnarine when Colman made the intervention yesterday afternoon, hours after Ramnarine laid bare millions in discrepancies at the HCU.
Scoon alleged Ramnarine was fired as the auditor of Bankers Insurance –a HCU subsidiary – when the incident occurred. Ramnarine responded, saying, “We stopped –”. Scoon did not let the witness continue and insisted that Ramnarine had been dropped by the Central Bank.
“Let the witness finish,” Colman said. The chairman tapped against his microphone to get Scoon’s attention but to no avail as Scoon continued, saying, “The Central Bank refused to accept you as a fit and proper person.”
Finally, the chairman said, “Shut up Mr Scoon!”
With an opportunity to respond, the witness said, “You cannot stop auditing. It is the company’s prerogative to change auditors. I was never informed. How would I know if I was never informed. Would HCU give us audits of their subsidiaries?”
Scoon replied, “I don’t know who is asking the questions here.”
Scoon’s pitch was notably louder than most attorneys at the inquiry. His cross-examination raised eyebrows with counsel for the inquiry Edwin Glasgow QC five times accusing him of “shouting” and of not conforming to good practice at the bar.
“If my learned friend would listen a little more than he shouts perhaps he would hear the responses,” Glasgow said at one point.
At another stage, attorney for the Commissioner of Cooperative Development Reginald Armour SC also intervened. He urged Scoon to “moderate his technique of cross-examination.” “I don’t like to see what borders on intimidation. It irks me somewhat,” he said.
Scoon questioned why Ramnarine, a former Udecott director, did not testify at the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott and the public construction sector. Ramnarine said he was not required to.