KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 20, IWN – The producer of the BBC programme to be made about Harlequin Property says his team does not have a video of Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace suggesting that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves accepted a bribe.
Gonsalves said on radio on Sunday that BBC journalist Paul Kenyon and one of his colleagues had shown to a man a video in which Eustace reportedly said Dave Ames, chair of Harlequin, went to Gonsalves office with a suitcase/briefcase of money and left without it.
Eustace has said that he was interviewed by the BBC, but denied making such an allegation against Gonsalves.
“No one in the Panorama team can find out what video the PM is referring to,” Matthew Chapman, the producer of the BBC “Panorama” programme to be made about Harlequin, told I-Witness News on Tuesday.
“We’re not aware one exists,” he further said.
Gonsalves had also said that Kenyon and his colleague accosted him when they approached him on an aircraft in Barbados on Sunday.
“Paul Kenyon and his colleague found themselves on the same flight as the Prime Minister. They had already asked for an interview with the Prime Minister in St. Vincent but had been refused. Mr Kenyon was very polite to the Prime Minister and introduced himself and explained where he was from. From the BBC team’s point of view this was a perfectly cordial encounter. How the PM viewed the encounter, I cannot say,” Chapman further said.
Gonsalves said that the BBC journalists contacted him late Friday evening for an interview and he told them that he was unable to grant one until this coming Friday.
Meanwhile, Chapman further told I-Witness News the PM said that he would subsequently respond to questions about whatever evidence the show is holding to substantiate the claim that money was taken to the Office of the Prime Minister and asked whether the BBC was prepared to make this evidence public.
He also said he would respond, as soon as possible, to Gonsalves’ statement that the BBC was levelling this charge against him because it is expensive and impractical for him to seek legal redress is in the United Kingdom, that the BBC team was condescending in their approach and would not have taken a similar approach to a British prime minister.