BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 6th December 2019) -“The government itself has confidence in its membership, and until there is evidence otherwise, there is no need for concern.”
So said Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris at his monthly press conference held this week (Wednesday 4th December 2019), in part when he was asked about the misappropriating of client’s funds in the sum of US$460,000 with fingers pointing at two of his colleagues Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant and Ambassador Jonel Powell of the law firm Grant, Powell & Co. by claimant Tanzania Tobing Tanzil.
The defendants (Grant and Powell) have appealed the December 2017 filed matter following an unfavorable outcome on their part according to court documents of a 28th October 2019 dated document ruling by Justice Eddy Ventose at the high court.
The opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) continues to call for the resignation of the two public figures.
SKNLP Chairman Dr. Terrance Drew, in a recent social media commentary, has asked “Why is Lindsay still a Minister? Why is Jonel still an Ambassador? Both must step down until the cases are resolved, the most decent thing to do.”
He highlighted that December 12th 2019 is listed for the assessment of damages at the court and also stated that the matter “is beyond politics. Anybody who is found guilty cannot be trusted with the money in the treasury.”
PM Harris during the question and answer segment was quizzed by a reporter regarding to what extent would the default judgement impact or affect the Team Unity administration or individual parties to run an effective election campaign when the date for the next general elections is announced.
“The government itself has confidence in its membership and until there is evidence otherwise, there is no need for concern. Indeed we are very confident that the particular matter will be satisfactorily addressed. We do not see this as a hindrance to the Team Unity’s successful performance in the next general elections. People will vote for this government because we have bene the best performing government across a wide range of areas; first term, we believe that that message is cleared. People have strong confidence in the working of the government as a team and we will work hard to preserve a team of quality, a team of integrity and a team that shows high industry and commitment to public service and we believe that when you get over the noise, you will see that there is nothing to be concerned about,” he stated further.
PM Harris passed on the question to Attorney General Vincent Byron Jr. because “I can’t deal with legal matters that are before the court.”
Byron in turn, however, said PM Harris was right “to suggest that the matter is before the court.”
“It is a default judgment and as far as we understand on a technicality that happened and that matter has been appealed…An appeal has been granted more or less suspends the outcome of that until it is determined by the court,” he commented.