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The contradictions are baffling
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Law & Politics with Lloyd Noel
St. George's Grenada: When the “Trade Centre Show” dropped the curtains on Act One scene five two Fridays ago - most people thought that the farce was halted until Act two opens at the same venue, or whenever else, at a date to be announced by the one-man Commissioner.
But little did we realise that the actors on centre stage, as well as those behind the curtains, would be providing even more comedy of errors, and embarrassing open contradictions - touching and concerning the St. Moritz Brief Case saga - than we already had in the live show.
And what is so sad, besides being so very expensive, is that those providing the road side show, and putting their feet in their mouths every time they open them - is that they are legal experts and supposedly Honourable men from whom so much is expected, as well as those holding positions of prominence, as spokepersons for the Prime Minister and his administration as the Government of our suffering people.
When the one-man Commissioner was closing down the show for the day, on that Friday, after he had rejected Ramesh Maharaj force-ripe submission, he stated that he was due to return a call to Mr. David Marchant that evening; of the “Offshore Alert” publication in Miami, which had first published the Timothy Bass Affidavit that detailed the happenings in Resteiner’s house in Switzerland.
Mr. Marchant is very clearly someone who has relevant and material evidence, to assist any serious Inquiry that is truly concerned with investigating the real issues surrounding this Brief Case fiasco, and discovering truth.
Not only did his publication reveal the tell-tale Affidavit from Bass, but he only did so after one or two conversations with Dr. Keith Mitchell on the Contents of the Affidavit; as well as one or two conversations with the same Michael Creft of GIFSA, who was Resteiner’s and or the Prime Minister’s emissary - in the whole rigmarole leading up to that bogus diplomatic appointment of the equally bogus “Baron doctor,” who got his honorary doctorate from a Theologian College that never existed on planet earth.
But Mr. Marchant, from my very reliable informant in Miami, had never even attempted to Contact the one-man Commissioner - so how come the latter had to “return” a call to the former? Yet the Legal trio on Centre stage in the farce at the “Trade Centre Show,” are all Honourable gentlemen.
Mr. Marchant has in fact put out a statement, which can be seen on Carib News Now on the Internet in which he categorically denies ever having contacted the one-man Commissioner or the latter contacting him.
So who is trying to mis-lead who, or who is the Agent or go between for the Commissioner in his dealing with Mr. Marchant?
On the same source of News, same date, Mr. Timothy Bass also disclosed that he is ready and willing to give evidence about the happenings in that house in St. Moritz in June, 2000 - but so far no one has contacted him.
Are we to understand and accept, that from August last year to June this year - those two highly paid legal experts, with international connections, were unable to make contact with the two persons who are the centre pin of the allegations that brought about this Commission of Inquiry involving the Grenada Prime Minister?
And how is it that the Prime Minister and Ramesh have been, and still are, saying that the Prime Minister will be vindicated, or cleared of any wrongdoing; are those two well aware of what is, or is not taking place behind the smoke screen to make them so confident and boastful? But these are all “Honourable men” - so where are we heading?
And to add political insult, to the Nation’s very hurtful injuries over this painful matter - I saw and heard Mr. Terry Forrester on T/V, with a bold straight face, bemoaning the fact that Hundreds of Thousands of scarce U.S. Dollars are being spent on this Inquiry - because the NDC opposition demanded it - but now those NDC M.P.s have no evidence to offer.
How and where from Terry expected those M.Ps to have evidence, from a trip to St. Moritz that none of them was a member of, beats the simple mind. And for his info. it was not NDC that demanded a Commission of Inquiry - they asked for a Parliamentary Committee of Investigation which was refused by the Speaker; and a request for a Police Investigation, similar to the Michael Baptiste case, was also refused on the advice of Hugh Wildman, as the Police Adviser.
It makes one wonder whether Terry was in Grenada, or anywhere on planet Earth for that matter - since the Commission of Inquiry is providing Breaking News Worldwide on the Net. And how is it he did not know, that the Trio of Legal Experts at the “Trade Centre Show” had compounded the farcical performances, by refusing the Leader of the said NDC opposition - the patently obvious right of audience and to be represented by Legal Counsel at the Commission.
But then again, Terry is the PRO of the NNP and Dr. Mitchell and his Government - so blindness, and deafness, and clear signs of amnesia are understandable, although very regrettable in the context of Nation building.
But to go back to some of the statements made before the Inquiry, at the Inquiry, and since the same was adjourned.
The Prime Minister’s Counsel Ramesh Maharaj, was gloating after the adjournment on that Friday - that his client has nothing to answer because no evidence was given that implicated him. He went as far as to say, that the two officers who accompanied the Prime Minister made it very clear that the Prime Minister received no money in that house in Switzerland. See the Terms of Reference Ramesh.
Unless Ramesh is inadequately briefed by the two junior Lawyers at the Bar Table with him, Wildman and Horsford, he must be getting dotish from his long association with corruption in Trinidad and Tobago. His own client has told the Nation and the entire Region, that he received about $15,000.00 U.S. from Resteiner - as repayment for his Credit Card expenses for that fateful and mysterious trip.
So if the two officers are to be believed, then either the Prime Minister is telling lies on himself, or his Counsel is in a state of overpaid legal trauma - along with the other two performers in the Show.
And to further compound poor Ramesh’s disabled State of mind - it has now being discovered or revealed that GIFSA - headed at the time by Michael Creft, the emissary or go between of the Prime Minister and Resteiner in that period - paid for the entire trip of the Prime Minister and his delegation from Grenada to Kuwait, (including Switzerland) and back home, in the sum of $34,000.00 E.C.C. The Tickets were reportedly bought from Astral Travel Services in St. George’s.
In that same context, of what those very highly paid Lawyers should, or must have known from their briefs before the public hearings and the show got on the road - I have seen the written decision of Commissioner Cheltenham, on the application by the Leader of the Opposition to be allowed Intervener status/standing in the Inquiry, which he delivered on Tuesday 14th June, 2005 - and an observation by him is as worrying as the comments he made the week or so before the Inquiry on BBC, about the lack or absence of evidence in Grenada on the matter.
The Commissioner was reading into the record, the Leader of the Opposition’s letter to him of the 9th June, 2005, seeking his leave to participate in the Inquiry. The letter had this line ..... “we have learnt, via the Media, that your Commission of Inquiry into the Prime Minister’s acceptance of certain monies during a trip to Europe...”
The Commissioner added in his written decision .... “(And, I take it the Leader unwittingly forgot to mention “alleged acceptance,” but I read that into it).”
The very Terms of reference from the Governor General to the Commissioner states ..... “4. The Statement made by the Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Keith Mitchell, M.P., that he received the sum of approximately U.S.$15,000.00 from one Eric Resteiner as reimbursement for expenses etc. .... .” So since that fact is given, why should the Commissioner be insisting that the Leader of the Opposition must state in his letter “alleged acceptance?”
Hon Tillman Thomas did not write - “acceptance of some U.S.$500,000.00" - he wrote “acceptance of certain monies” - just as the Prime Minister had publicly admitted, so what was confusing the Commissioner, other than the confusion he created by mis-directing himself on Section 18 to refuse the valid application?
It seems that every time those legal luminaries, who must know better, open their mouths to make any Statements on the subject matter before them - they are putting their feet into their open mouths and causing more contradictions and confusion to surface; and by so doing they are creating more and more un-easiness and mistrust in John Public’s already suspicious mind-set, over this on-going saga.
And when the Prime Minister stated, on his return from Qatar last week, and after he was presumably fully advised by his expensive Legal Counsel from Trinidad and Tobago - that he would have stepped down, if there was any evidence that he had embarrassed his people and Country in this Brief Case scandal - he was certainly taking that honourable office and esteemed position into the lowest depths of Caribbean political degradation.
If after Twenty (20) years of being a member of Parliament, as the Prime Minister himself likes to boast about, and in that period holding many Ministerial positions, that took him on overseas travel dozens of times am sure - including Ten (10) years as the Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
And with all that experience and wisdom he must have acquired over all those years, he cannot see, understand and accept - the dis-repute, the odium and contempt, the shame and scandal, the very obvious embarrassment, the fraudulent and corrupt image (if only by association, with those crooks and fraudsters he befriended and brought here) - he has brought onto the office and status of Prime Minister, and by extension our people and Country as a whole - then something must be radically wrong with him; and that in itself is more than justification for him to go back to the people at this point in time, for them to express their opinions on all that is happening, and has happened since the Elections in November - 2003.
The uncertain and very disgruntled state of affairs - the people and the administration in general are facing now-a-days - leave no room for a peaceful solution if the status quo remains as is.
Grenada and Ninety odd thousands of people are much, much, bigger than the individual or the party - no matter which party - and those people are entitled to have the last word.
The situation as it is can only lead to further discontent and deeper urges to rebel, because hungry, home damaged and unemployed people, become angry and dis-enchanted - and in that frame of mind anything can happen.
The contradictions and attempted tomfoolery are already too much, and are getting worse. Time is not on our side; today is already too late, the delay is baffling.
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