BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Two Chinese fugitives, alleged to have defrauded State institutions in the Peoples Republic of China of US$100 million, will continue to benefit from protection in St. Kitts where they are Economic Citizens, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said.
In a national address Tuesday night, Harris said China is not a Commonwealth country and assistance can only be provided to a country, that is not a member of the Commonwealth, if that country has concluded a specific agreement to this effect with St. Kitts and Nevis.
“There is no such agreement between St. Kitts and Nevis and China. Therefore, the extradition assistance that was being informally sought cannot be provided within the confines of St. Kitts Nevis law,” Harris said.
“I am advised by our legal team that they have examined all relevant laws, international conventions and bilateral treaties applicable to St Kitts and Nevis and the clear legal position is that there is no basis for extraditing St Kitts and Nevis citizens in this way.”
The Prime Minister said St Kitts-Nevis will not simply allow its sovereignty and laws to be trampled upon by permitting any nation to attempt to engage in forced rendition of any citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis from its shores.
“Each and every citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis is entitled to the full protection of the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis. They are entitled to that protection not some of the time or at the whim of any Government. They are entitled to that protection all of the time,” Harris said.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – A lack of oversight and a questionable tendering process were some of the revelations made at Monday’s sitting of the Joint Select Committee on State Enterprises, as the questioned representatives of Caribbean Airlines Limited.
It was revealed that the airline spent US$700 million to purchase five ATR aircraft, while the purchase of four planes was cancelled at a cost of more than $6 million.
“So, what you’re telling this committee and telling the population of Trinidad and Tobago is that $700 million of taxpayers’ money was spent and there is zero documentation that you can find or exist within the company now to show that some proper process was followed,” Committee Chairman David Small said to the CAL reps including Colville Carrington, VP Maintenance and Engineering; and Dionne Ligoure, Head of Corporate Communications.
Carrington’s reponse was: “Chair we have documentation on the process that was used for acquiring the ATR aircraft.”
Added to the revelations of financial mismanagement was a $2 million report which was commissioned but was swept under the rug for two years.
The report, which was compiled to serve as a guide for the overall management and structural framework of the company was never implemented. The CAL representatives claimed it was hidden from higher management.
“The company spent $2 million on this piece of work. An extensive terms of reference was prepared by the company and a company was engaged and they prepared a report. But based on the documentation provided to us by the management, all of you who are sitting here, and I think most of you would have been present at the time, the information from the Corporate Secretary is that the company was not aware of the existence or they are now seeing it for the first time,” Small said.
“We have a difficulty understanding how you could spend $2 million of taxpayers’ money and nobody is able to evidence seeing the report or know anything about it.”
There were also tales of abuse of power with the chairman calling out the number of personal flights taken by some CAL pilots.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Politician and businessman, Peter Sangster, accused of forging the signature of former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller had his bail extended when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today. Sangster’s bail was extended for him to reappear in court on June 5.
Sangster, 47, managing director of Jamus Communications Limited, is charged with uttering forged documents, forgery and obtaining money by false pretences.
Allegations are that between 2011 and 2013, Sangster solicited and obtained more than US$600,000 from the chairman of the company.
The businessman reportedly promised to get a waiver for monies owed by the company to the Universal Service Fund.
Sangster is accused of forging a document purported to be the waiver.
A report was made to the police who launched an investigation into the matter.
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – A group of protestors on Monday called on Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris to respond to allegations that a Chinese fugitive is being protected by the local authorities.
The Prime Minister was greeted by the protestors who were standing outside his office.
The placard-bearing demonstrators urged the prime minister to deal with the request by China to hand over one of its nationals.
China accuses Ren Biao, who holds Chinese and St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, of swindling more than US$100 million from a Chinese state firm.
China, which does not have a formal relationship with Basseterre, said it has made a formal request, through a third-party Caribbean government to St. Kitts and Nevis, but Basseterre has failed to deal with the request.
On the weekend leader of the main opposition, St Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Dr. Denzil Douglas urged Harris to resign as the region and the world await the government’s next move following accusations that it is protecting a Chinese national who is paying large sums of money for continued protection.
In a statement on Friday Douglas said that despite formal requests by China, as well as Interpol, to secure the return of Ren Biao to face prosecution in China, the Government is refusing to cooperate.
TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – A Jamaican man has lost a legal battle to remain in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), following an incident in 2015 in which he sexually assaulted a woman.
Peter Gray was sentenced to 10 months for criminal trespass, and 15 months for indecent assault – the sentences ran concurrently.
Gray appealed against the deportation order, but the request was turned down by Governor John Duncan.
Gray later brought the matter before the High Court, where the request was also turned down.
The Jamaican man told the court that his deportation would disrupt the “family life” with several persons, including a six-year-old daughter.
The court heard that Gray was in an ‘acrimonious’ relationship with a BVI woman. That relationship, which ended years ago, produced a daughter.
However, the judge dismissed this stating that “while the court does not doubt the strength of the First Claimant’s love for his daughter, the scope of his access and visitation is undefined, and there is little indication of the regularity or the depth of the contact. Further, the lack of any real detail gives rise to significant doubt as regards his financial support. It appears to the court that his role in her day to day care and upkeep has also been minimal”.
Another factor that helped to determine the outcome – came to light when Grey disclosed his romantic involvement with another woman. This woman who lives in St Kitts Nevis has four children – a minor and three young adults who are BVI citizens, living on their own. None of these children fathered by Gray.
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