This is the section where we focus on one of the defendants in the Canadian lawsuit.
Spotlight on …..
Spotlight On …
Chief Justice Sir David Simmons,
K.A., B.C.H., Q.C., LL.M.
aka David Anthony Carthcart Simmons
David Simmons, SBG & VECO
Chapter I - The First of Three Installments
A star is born
On April 28, 1940, in the small colony of Barbados, a star is born: David Anthony Cathcart Simmons. David is a boy of great intelligence and ambition. Graduation from the Lodge School, and a degree from the London School of Economics become mere milestones in his ascent to power.
It is inspiring to think that this young man surmounted all obstacles and rose to become one of a handful of luminaries who defined the character of a young nation. One obstacle was that his diverse background made it difficult for him to feel comfortable within the socio-economic divisions that existed at the time. Being of a diverse background myself, I can sympathize with his experience.
Statesman, Legislator, Member of the Judiciary
Always the BLP (Barbados Labour Party) stalwart, he was first elected to Parliament in 1976. He became the youngest lawyer to be appointed Queen’s Council in 1984, and then served as Attorney General from 1985 to 1986.
Sir David’s public service record is well publicized, but his business dealings are another matter.
To be continued tomorrow…. David Simmons, SBG & VECO
BFP Links: Simmons, VECO. BU Link: VECO.
David Simmons, SBG & VECO
Chapter II - The Second of Three Installments
Review Chapter I
In 1991 David Simmons started to impact the life of Marjorie Knox, through a company called SBG Development Corporation. It is not clear exactly when SBG was formed but we suspect that it was formed around 1991. Unfortunately, the company records of SBG appear to be lost, so the incorporation date is not available. How unusual! But ask Sir David himself. He will be happy to tell you when it was incorporated!
The principals of SBG included some big names:
- David Simmons (of the Barbados Labour Party, then in opposition, subsequently Attorney General, now Chief Justice)
- Peter Simmons (former High Commissioner to Britain)
- Glyne Bannister
- Philip Greaves (of the Democratic Labour Party, in power at the time, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport).
Political Differences Put Aside
It may surprise you that David Simmons, a BLP stalwart, and Philip Greaves, the corner stone of the ruling DLP would be involved together in a business venture. One explanation could be family ties between these two.
Simmons, Bannister and Greaves’ Company makes Low Ball Offer
In January of 1992, SBG made its move on Kingsland, or more fully Kingsland Estates Limited. The agreement to sell Kingsland’s shares to SBG was signed by all shareholders except Marjorie Knox. Marjorie Knox point blank refused to sign, even though she was subjected to great psychological pressure. She felt that the price of less than 18 cents per square foot was unreasonably low. The low price coupled with the extreme secrecy surrounding the negotiations made her very suspicious. She could not figure out why her brothers were so anxious to sell their assets way below market value, and why they were unable to produce audited financial statements for the company.
Kingsland Director Excluded from Secret Meeting
In September of 1992 Kingsland’s board of directors, of which Marjorie Knox was a member, announced that they had met. Either deliberately or accidentally, she was neither informed about nor invited to this critical meeting. It seemed as though these actions were deliberate, as she was not fully informed of the agenda and business transacted. The only evidence Knox had of the meeting was the word of the directors. She was told that the directors had decided to call an extra ordinary meeting of share holders.
Her suspicions were heightened. This extraordinary meeting was called to approve the transfer all of the assets of Kingsland to a company called Latitude Golf Development Ltd! A two thirds majority was required to pass this. At the meeting Marjorie Knox expressed her opposition to the transfer. The Chairman, Errie Deane explained at this extraordinary meeting that an error had been made. The existing shareholders could not pass such a resolution but it would be for the new SBG shareholders to do it. This implied that Deane felt SBG was planning to strip Kingsland’s assets.
Knox Succumbs to Intense Pressure from Family
Succumbing to the pressure, in February of 1993 a then seventy-one year old Marjorie Knox signed the SBG agreement. Her lawyers advised her that she had no choice. Her lawyers felt that SBG, in which David Simmons was a principal, would strip the assets from Kingsland. She would have ended up owning a one seventh share in a worthless shell of a company.
Next, David Cathcart Simmons advised in writing that he was confident the planning permissions being sought would be approved. And sure enough, in 1992 the Cabinet of Barbados approved an application for a 2,400 acre golf course development which included all of the plantation lands of Kingsland.
Sweet Deal but No Deal
The management of SBG must have had incredible persuasive talents to convince most of the directors of Kingsland to enthusiastically support their offer. Imagine selling over a thousand acres of real estate, much of it prime land, for $8 million or under 18 cents per square foot. 0.2% of the acreage, the Spion Kop & Craigwell property, was recently rumoured to have been resold for appreciably more than the negotiated price of the whole company. Why was Errie Deane so enthusiastic about the deal? Is something missing here?
Surprisingly after landing such a sweet deal, SBG failed to complete the transaction and forfeited its deposit.
History Keeps Repeating Itself
Other schemes materialized over the years, all somewhat similar to the SBG agreement. Some of us wondered if the players were the same, and if they had just changed costumes.
A Rise and a Fall
The rise: David Simmons rose to the post of Chief Justice
The fall: Marjorie Knox continued her downward spiral, losing every court case that she brought. She was even accused in court of fraud!
Give Us Your Opinion
We welcome and will publish all civilized comments. We would especially appreciate hearing from the shareholders and directors of SBG. You may also reply privately at: email@example.com
Next: Chapter III - David Simmons, SBG & VECO - Conclusion
Coming soon: Bannister Causes Turney Fall
David Simmons, SBG & VECO
Chapter III - The Third of Four Installments
Review Chapter I - Review Chapter II
Is David Simmons Unlawfully Occupying the Office of Chief Justice?
To fully respond to this question, we must first examine the Constitution of Barbados. I am not a lawyer, but I do have the ability to read and interpret our native language. First I must make the assumption that the Constitution of Barbados is a legally binding contract with the people of
Keltruth Corp.’s View of the Constitution
The Constitution of Barbados is a legal document designed to protect and serve the people of
I posit three arguments.
- Argument #1
Quote from the Constitution:
Appointment of Judges
The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the Governor General, by instrument under the Public Seal, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation with the leader of the Opposition.
I recall that it was reported that the CJ was appointed without consultation with the leader of the Opposition. I cannot verify this report, but if it is correct that is a breach of the Constitution. I would admit that, as written, the phrase “after consultation” would be difficult to enforce.
- Argument #2
Quote from the Constitution:
This is a branch of government free from executive interference and comprises the Magistrate Courts, a High Court and a Court of Appeal.”
The post of Chief Justice must not be political. In 2001 Simmons received two prestigious awards for “public service and politics“. Based on his multiple years as a legislator and his impressive tenure with the BLP, Keltruth Corp. views Simmons as a consummate lifelong politician.
- Argument #3
Quote from the Constitution:
Subject to the following provisions of this section, a person holding the office of a Judge shall vacate office when he attains the age of sixty five years: Provided that the Governor General, acting in the case of the Chief Justice on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or in the case of any other Judge in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, may permit a Judge who attains the age of sixty five years to continue in office until he has attained such later age, not exceeding sixty seven years, as may have been agreed between the Governor General and that Judge.
The Barbados Government Information Service web site states that Simmons’ date of birth is April 28, 1940. Keltruth Corp. cannot attest to the reliability of the Barbados Government Information Service or indeed any official Barbadian Government agency. However, based on the best information that Keltruth Corp. has at its disposal, Simmons reached his mandatory retirement age on his sixty-seventh birthday, April 28, 2007.
Is the Chief Justice a judge? You bet. He is the chief judge. He is categorized as a judge by being listed in section 81.1 above.
Keltruth Corp. maintains that the Chief Justice, as the top representative of justice in Barbados, should immediately take the appropriate steps to ensure that all members of the Judiciary strictly adhere to the constitution.
Reliance on Documentation from Official Government Sources
Keltruth Corp. has relied on documentation provided by an official agency of the Government of Barbados. If this documentation is incorrect or incomplete, the Government should take immediate steps to update this information, and to publicly apologize for misleading the public. If the public does not have easy access to the Constitution of Barbados, then the public cannot ensure that it is being followed.
November 16, 2007 - Kathleen Davis writing for Keltruth Corp.
Update - we have just received word of a Caricom web site with a more recent version of the Barbados Constitution than that on the official Barbados Government Information Service web site. We have not yet verified the authenticity of this version, and whether it takes precedence over that of the official GOB source. It appears to be a photocopy, and has the notation that “Act 2003-10 has not been proclaimed”. http://www.caricomlaw.org/doc.php?id=656
P.S. For more information on Sir David, just Google “Chief Justice David Simmons” or click on this link: Results of Google Search
Next: Chapter IV - David Simmons, SBG & VECO - Conclusion
Coming soon: Bannister Causes Turney Fall
David Simmons, SBG & VECO
Chapter IV - The Fourth and Final Installment
Review Chapter I - Review Chapter II - Review Chapter III
Read Related Article - Cricket Match
For general background information on VECO, you could try this impartial link There you will see these headlines: “Alaska Legislature corruption scandal”, “VECO executives indicted, plead guilty”, ”Federal bribery investigations”… OK, you get the idea. For Barbados dealings click here, or do a Google search for “VECO Barbados“.
Which politicians put this VECO deal together?
Mia Mottley’s first day in office, as reported by this (pdf) link, was Wednesday, August 29, 2001. This article goes on to state that she succeeded David Simmons, who at the time was being considered for the post Chief Justice! The Wednesday June 29, 2005 Nation News stated that “Attorney General Mia Mottley announced yesterday in Parliament that Veco Inc was the company chosen out of two proposals which were submitted.” So Mia would have made this announcement on Tuesday, June 28, 2005. Simmons had already metamorphosed from a politician to an independent Chief Justice in 2002, so Mia’s announcement did not link him to VECO.
What the Constitution Had to Say
After reading the constitution, I saw that the authority over the prison was assigned to the Minister of Home Affairs. The Attorney General has authority over the police. These two offices have been held simultaneously by the last three AGs - Simmons, Mottley and Marshall. Since both of these posts are political, this may be acceptable. The office of Chief Justice does not appear to have any responsibility for the prisons. I did see that the Attorney General was in charge of the police. The last two AGs have made authoritative statements about the planning and implimentation of the prisons. Here is the public statement from our current AG and Minister of Home Affairs, Dale D. Marshall. The conclusion is that the responsibility of the prison falls under the Minister of Home Affairs, who is often also the Attorney General.
To my knowledge, Mia was the first to issue a public statement linking the prison and VECO, therefore she is the one with a strong VECO link. Now the timeline is critical here. Was Mia Mottley a superwoman? A superwoman, who in her first few weeks of office, facilitated all the bureaucratic procedures that prudence deems necessary. Prudence would have dictated that tenders for proposals would have to be publicized. Government committees would have had to carefully and impartially evaluate each proposal. Interviews would have to scheduled and then conducted. Extensive background checks would have to be carried out due to the large sums of money involved. Admittedly, the government might not have been prudent, and this would have accelerated the selection procedure.
Another explanation is that negotiations with VECO were commenced before Wednesday, August 29, 2001. This book (see snippet below) states that David Simmons was holding both the post of Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General in August of 2001. This article substantiates this statement. Those people that hold the view that Mia is not a superwoman able to accelerate the machinations of this moribund Barbados Government to blinding speed, would be logically led to believe that David Simmons was involved with prison negotiations before he left the offices of Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs. It is the opinion of Keltruth Blog. that Sir David would have had to have been out of the island for an extended period of time, if he were not knowledgeable of the early prison negotiations.
Above: South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2002, by Jacqueline West
Checks and Balances
Is the principle of checks and balances operating? If it is, can you tell me who is checking and who is balancing? Some people may be teetering, and others may be depositing checks (cheques), but I am talking about a different kind of checks and balances.
Nelson Weighs in - VECO and Sir David Simmons
It seems that the plaintiff, Nelson Barbados Group Ltd., has collected an impressive body of evidence. Nelson has alleged that the actions of certain individuals and companies, including David Simmons, SBG and VECO, have caused financial loss to the plaintiff. Based on the pdf documents available on this web site, I understand that Nelson has presented its evidence to the court in Canada, and, after examining the merits of the case, the Canadian Court felt there was sufficient evidence to proceed. Keltruth Corp. interprets these developments as evidence of a link between David Simmons, SBG and VECO.
Sir David Simmons has faced and overcome adversity at every turn of his high-profile career. Will our fearless knight now wrestle his way out of this latest challenge, or will he be devastated by the hold of a full-Nelson!
I will be back!
This is the end of this section of the story, but fear not, Keltruth Corp. will cover this match up until somebody says “Uncle!”. As an amateur journalist, I realize that timing is important. I make the decision when to publish the facts, and I can safely say that more facts on this matter will be disclosed when the appropriate time comes.
Disclaimer: Metamorphosed was used in the context of a radical transformation such as that of the caterpillar to butterfly. The example used in the online dictionary has unpleasant connotations which should not be construed to be applicable in this case.
Elneth Kentish and Conflicts of Interest
This prominent Supreme Court judge has been briefly in the news of late due to an assault case. This contrasts with her involvement with Kingsland Estates Ltd., which has been both complicated and long-term.
Ms. Kentish was a director of Keble Worrell, a company that was negotiating to buy Kingsland Estates land on South Ridge. She was also a director of Kingsland Estates, simultaneously acting as a director of Keble Worrell while land negotiations were in progress. There were objections to her appointment as director of Kingsland Estates Ltd., but these objections were overruled by the majority of shareholders.
She was a lawyer with R.G.Mandeville, the law firm representing Classic Investments Ltd. Classic was the originally “undisclosed principal” that took over Kingsland Estates after proving itself to be a “desirable shareholder”. Few, if any, of the existing shareholders of Kingsland Estates Limited knew its actual identity at this time. To date, there is at least one shareholder of Kingsland Estates that does not know the identity of Classic’s shareholders.
So, to summarize the above roles, Ms. Kentish acted as a director for a prospective buyer and a prospective seller at the same time. She also worked for a firm that represented another anonymous buyer.
Ms. Kentish is now a high court judge, presiding over legal affairs in Barbados. Chief Justice Sir David Simmons welcomed her to the position in an address in 2002 on the occasion of a “special sitting of the Supreme Court”.
She is also a defendant in the international lawsuit lodged in Ontario by Nelson Barbados Limited. Other defendants include Classic Investments Limited, R.G.Mandeville & Co. and Keble Worrell Ltd.
We would be interested in hearing more about Keble Worrell Ltd. the company which paid a $75,000 deposit in 1989 on approximately 16 acres of land on South Ridge which it was purchasing from Kingsland at a price of $1.3 million. On the date of its incorporation Southridge Investments Limited concluded an agreement with Keble Worrell Limited to purchase its interest in the contract for sale with Kingsland Estates Limited.
We invite comment or clarification on any of the above issues.
Information taken from Corporate Affairs & Intellectual Property office, Belmont Road, St. Michael
(Kentish’s second name is listed as Oliver. I now believe the correct spelling is Olivier. 2/6/09)
Keble Worrell Ltd. - Company No.5340
Incorporated November 14, 1974
Registered Office - 15 James St., Bridgetown
Elneth Oliver Kentish
Patricia Jeanne Chenery
John Edward Aitken Kidd
Bjorn Ferdinand Bjerkham
Financial loss to plaintiff
Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. has commenced a legal proceeding in Ontario, Canada against a group of individuals and companies connected to the Kingsland Estates Ltd. matter, alleging that the actions of these individuals and companies have caused financial loss to the plaintiff. Some of the interesting clauses in the court documents include:
- “The Plaintiff states that the actions of the Defendants as set out herein have advertently or negligently frustrated and undermined the realization of the full value of the common shares of Kingsland and deprived the Plaintiff from realizing upon the economic benefits to which it would otherwise be entitled.”
- “It has become impossible for the Plaintiff to enforce or collect any judgement payable by Barbados in Barbados because of the facts stated herein including that some of the co-conspirators are members of the judiciary and governing party. Accordingly the Plaintiff seeks a mareva or other injunction that will seize or freeze funds payable by third parties located outside Barbados.”
Defendants include the Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur, the Chief Justice, David Simmons, and many wealthy Barbadians. Click here to see the entire list of over 50 individuals.
Spotlight on …
Our regular column, “Spotlight 0n …..”, will showcase the respective defendants involved with Kingsland Estates Ltd and its valuable real-estate holdings in Barbados. Every few days, or as time permits, Keltruth Corp. blog will highlight a person, a group of persons, or a business entity on the list of defendants above. This issue impacts the lives of all Barbadians, and therefore both the defendants and the general public are most welcome and strongly encouraged to post their comments.
If you are on the list of defendants, please be assured that you will have your day to bask in the spotlight. It may take time, but every entity on the list will be scrutinized. Click here to discover on whom the spotlight falls….
Spotlight on …..
Eric Iain Stewart Deane a.k.a. Iain Deane
Tracking Down the Elusive Iain Deane
Iain Deane, one of the defendants in the Canadian lawsuit between Nelson Barbados Group Ltd and Richard Ivan Cox et al, has proved to be very difficult to serve. To date, all attempts to serve Iain Deane in person have failed, so a Canadian court ordered by a newspaper ad to be published in Barbados.
It is remarkable that the same Iain Deane who is engaged in a lawsuit, and who has a local Barbadian lawyer, cannot be found for the Canadian lawsuit. Would his own lawyer, Vernon Smith, not be able to find him? How does Mr. Smith receive instructions if he does not know where Iain is? This boggles the mind!
Here is a PDF file of the Canadian court’s order to publish a newspaper ad in Barbados to find the elusive Mr. Iain Deane:
Will never properly executed
Iain Deane is a beneficiary of Senator Colin Deane’s will. Senator Deane passed away in 1982. Colin Deane’s will has never been properly executed. If it were, Madge Knox, as a beneficiary, would receive a considerable amount. More than 25 years after the death of Colin, his will is still in limbo. Iain Deane was the executor and he has failed to perform his duty properly.
An ironic twist to this story is that Iain Deane recently sued Mrs. Knox (yes the same Mrs. Knox named in the Canadian Action) for fraud. We believe that Mr. Iain Deane, brought a suit against Madge Knox for fraud in 2001, and while Mrs. Knox was on a short trip out of the island in 2007 Mr. Deane won a charging order on her shares in her absence. Iain Deane, while suing Mrs. Knox for fraud, has been unreachable and unservable by the plaintiffs of the Canadian lawsuit. Iain Deane’s lawyer, Vernon Smith, has not produced his client.
Beneficiaries of wills in Barbados beware!
Mrs. Knox did not fare well in court trying to get Iain Deane to execute the terms of the will. The Honourable Justice Kaye Goodridge has ruled that Iain Deane has no obligation to provide any accounting to Mrs. Knox for the execution of the will. Further action is unlikely, as Mrs. Knox would have to raise tens of thousands of dollars for an appeal. An elderly lady loses her inheritance from her brother, due to the inaction of the “fiduciary” executor, and there is no feasible recourse.
Beneficiaries under wills in Barbados should examine this judgement carefully, as it may undermine their ability to collect what has been willed to them. The judgement implies that the Barbadian legal system does not require elusive executors to perform their duties after a certain amount of time has passed.