Opposition legislator charged in CIP related matters

by STAFF WRITER

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 26, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda police have charged an opposition legislator with two charges including making a false statement regarding missing funds from the Citizenship by Investment Unit.

The charges against Senator and public relations officer of the main opposition United progressive Party (UPP), Damani Tabor, came a few days after Prime Minister Gaston Browne had in Parliament urged the legislator to spare the country the loss of scare financial resources by withdrawing an allegation he made regarding the disappearance of money from the CIP.

Damani Tabor
Damani Tabor

Prime Minister Browne told legislators that the claim by Tabor that EC$500,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) had been missing from the CIP unit is mischievous and that the government could save the funds that are being used to pay Canadian-based financial forensic investigator Robert Lindquist.

In February, the government enlisted the Christian Council to select someone to determine if the money was missing as had been claimed by the opposition legislator.

“If it is that the person was being malicious, he can probably spare the nation the trouble and just say it is not true and that he was being mischievous,” Browne said.

He told Parliament that if the member of the opposition UPP “does not relent and we have to spend tens of thousands of dollars …to do an investigation then clearly that person will be guilty of public mischief if and when found guilty.

“Clearly there could be consequences,” Browne said, adding that he was extending “an olive branch to Mr. Tabor to come to the nation and let the people of Antigua and Barbuda know that you were being mischievous, that you have no evidence to that effect.

‘We will still continue with the investigation but at least it could maybe shortened the duration of the investigation and save tax payers tens of thousands of dollars,” he added.

Tobor has now been charged accused of making a false statement on February 12 by stating on Observer Radio the money was missing from the Citizenship by Investment Funds. He is also charged with effecting public mischief contrary to public law.

Tabor, soon after his legal team secured his release on bail, said, “The charge sheets came in a much greater time-frame than I had been promised initially and that indicates to me that the powers that be were clearly mulling, delaying the process so that I would be detained over the entire Easter weekend.”

“So the charges came just out of the blue, as if in the defensive position taken when knowledge was gleaned by the authorities that the habeas corpus application was filed.

“In fact the Commissioner even spoke to that whole process flow and time-frame and try to defend himself before the judge because he recognized how it really made them look right, and he was adamant that you know that we would have not kept the detained over the long weekend and so on,” Tabor said, adding that the High Court Ruling was a victory for the nation.“

Meanwhile, President of the Antigua Christian Council, Father Reid Simon says he is having difficulty understanding the reason for the arrest.

“As a Council you have asked us to nominate someone, to the best of our knowledge person has not begun the investigation yet but you have in some way reached a judgement. Now I am not familiar with all aspects of the law. Is there something in the law that gives the police the ‘ok’ to detain him in regards to that particular thing?” he told Observer Media.

“The police need to come and assure the citizens that ‘Hey, this is what it is and this is what the law says it is’ and don’t tell me that we are advancing too much as a society to have that kind of thing hanging over our head.”

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 26, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda police have charged an opposition legislator with two charges including making a false statement regarding missing funds from the Citizenship by Investment Unit.

The charges against Senator and public relations officer of the main opposition United progressive Party (UPP), Damani Tabor, came a few days after Prime Minister Gaston Browne had in Parliament urged the legislator to spare the country the loss of scare financial resources by withdrawing an allegation he made regarding the disappearance of money from the CIP.

Damani Tabor
Damani Tabor

Prime Minister Browne told legislators that the claim by Tabor that EC$500,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) had been missing from the CIP unit is mischievous and that the government could save the funds that are being used to pay Canadian-based financial forensic investigator Robert Lindquist.

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In February, the government enlisted the Christian Council to select someone to determine if the money was missing as had been claimed by the opposition legislator.

“If it is that the person was being malicious, he can probably spare the nation the trouble and just say it is not true and that he was being mischievous,” Browne said.

He told Parliament that if the member of the opposition UPP “does not relent and we have to spend tens of thousands of dollars …to do an investigation then clearly that person will be guilty of public mischief if and when found guilty.

“Clearly there could be consequences,” Browne said, adding that he was extending “an olive branch to Mr. Tabor to come to the nation and let the people of Antigua and Barbuda know that you were being mischievous, that you have no evidence to that effect.

‘We will still continue with the investigation but at least it could maybe shortened the duration of the investigation and save tax payers tens of thousands of dollars,” he added.

Tobor has now been charged accused of making a false statement on February 12 by stating on Observer Radio the money was missing from the Citizenship by Investment Funds. He is also charged with effecting public mischief contrary to public law.

Tabor, soon after his legal team secured his release on bail, said, “The charge sheets came in a much greater time-frame than I had been promised initially and that indicates to me that the powers that be were clearly mulling, delaying the process so that I would be detained over the entire Easter weekend.”

“So the charges came just out of the blue, as if in the defensive position taken when knowledge was gleaned by the authorities that the habeas corpus application was filed.

“In fact the Commissioner even spoke to that whole process flow and time-frame and try to defend himself before the judge because he recognized how it really made them look right, and he was adamant that you know that we would have not kept the detained over the long weekend and so on,” Tabor said, adding that the High Court Ruling was a victory for the nation.“

Meanwhile, President of the Antigua Christian Council, Father Reid Simon says he is having difficulty understanding the reason for the arrest.

“As a Council you have asked us to nominate someone, to the best of our knowledge person has not begun the investigation yet but you have in some way reached a judgement. Now I am not familiar with all aspects of the law. Is there something in the law that gives the police the ‘ok’ to detain him in regards to that particular thing?” he told Observer Media.

“The police need to come and assure the citizens that ‘Hey, this is what it is and this is what the law says it is’ and don’t tell me that we are advancing too much as a society to have that kind of thing hanging over our head.”