STATEMENT FROM THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE REGARDING MONIES RECEIVED BY THE PRIME MINISTER IN HIS CAPACITY AS POLITICAL LEADER OF THE NDC.
In the wake of the resounding and embarrassing defeat suffered in the recent Vote of No Confidence Motion on May 15th 2012 and the shock from the massive and enthusiastic crowd brought out by the Prime Minister at his Thanksgiving rally at the Grenville Car Park, the NNP and those known to be opposed to Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, are desperately grasping at straws, in their attempt to tarnish the good character of the Prime Minister and Political Leader of the NDC.
As a result, they are now trying to convince the Grenadian Public that the Prime Minister was engaged in some kind of shady financial dealings and that he received the sum of $150,000 US dollars from a criminal source in Saudi Arabia.
The Prime Minister wishes to assure the Grenadian public, in keeping with his commitment to the good governance agenda and his pledge to the Grenadian people to be accountable and transparent, that nothing could be further from the truth.
The facts are as follows:
Approximately five months ago, a friend of Grenada, who does not wish to be publicly identified, and whose place of corporate residence is the British Virgin Islands, made a political donation of $50,000 US dollars to the Prime Minister as Political Leader of his party. At every stage, it was the understanding and belief of Prime Minister Thomas, that these funds were intended to assist the NDC and for no other purpose. The Prime Minister and Political Leader signed the relevant banking documents as required by law, attesting that the monies were for the political purposes of the NDC. This is a matter of public record.
The contribution came through a bank to bank transfer on January 4, 2012, that is traceable and verifiable.
Political Parties, which represent the principal agents of our democratic system, are not business enterprises or profit making entities. To effectively carry out their work, political parties and organizations need financial resources which must come from able benefactors who believe in the philosophy and programs of the political party. Democracy, the world over, must be financed.
This is why it is perfectly legal in our system for a political party to accept financial contributions to carry out its work. Of course, it is the duty of the political party to ensure, as far as possible, that the funds being received do not have a criminal origin or purpose. To that end, it is the duty of the political party to ensure, as far as possible, that the financial contribution is not from the proceeds of crime, is not intended as a means of money laundering and is not intended to secure any favours, benefits or influence with the government of Grenada.
The Prime Minister and Political Leader of the NDC affirms that no reward, benefit or consideration was demanded, requested or proposed, and that none has been given or promised in return.
The Prime Minister and Political Leader is of the firm belief that the donation is entirely legitimate and the attendant transaction was completely above board.
Furthermore, in the absence of any illegality, the question as to how those funds are handled and used by the party is strictly an internal matter to the party and will not be discussed with political opponents.
It is for this reason that the Prime Minister and Political Leader has readily and openly called on those persons having information in their possession that will tend to show the commission of a crime to furnish such evidence to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
This call by the Prime Minister and Political Leader Tillman Thomas, stands in stark contrast to the defiant and obstinate refusal by then Prime Minister and Political Leader of the NNP to allow the FIU to conduct an investigation into the allegations that Dr. Keith Mitchell had received the sum of $500,000 US dollars in a briefcase from a German criminal in exchange for granting Grenadian diplomatic status to that criminal.
On that occasion, the NDC Opposition presented documentary evidence to the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the FIU, Hugh Wildman, who rejected the request for an investigation out of hand.
Additionally, the NNP received considerable sums of money from Van Brink of First International Bank fame. Court documents in the United States show that money was delivered in cash to then Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and the Treasurer of the NNP, Tony Joseph.
Prime Minister and Political Leader Tillman Thomas therefore remains fully convinced that any investigation conducted by the appropriate authorities will reveal that:
• The sum of $ 150,000 US dollars was not deposited into the account of the Political leader as claimed by the NNP.
• No monies were received from Saudi Arabia as claimed by the NNP.
• The Money received is a political donation.