SVG

Eustace ‘duplicitous’ about interview with BBC — PM

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, left, and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (montage image).

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, left, and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (montage image).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 1, IWN – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has accused Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace of being “duplicitous” about an interview he had with the BBC recently.

Gonsalves levelled the accusation on Monday and said there are five issues arising from his encounter in Barbados on Feb. 17 with BBC journalists Paul Kenyon and Matthew Hill, who he accused of accosting him.

The journalists asked Gonsalves about an allegation that British investor Dave Ames, a naturalised Vincentian, had gone to the Office of the Prime Minister with a bag of money and left without it.

Gonsalves said that “a professional gentleman” told him that he had seen a video in which Eustace makes the allegation.

Eustace has denied making the allegation, and said it was put to him during an interview with Hill and Kenyon.

Issue No. 1:

Gonsalves said the first issue was the false allegation levelled by the BBC journalists.

He said that Kenyon didn’t say that Gonsalves received a bribe but that he has witnesses who will testify that Ames went to Gonsalves’ office with money and left without it.

“That’s not an allegation by him. The issue of bride arose from a report that I received from a professional gentleman about what Mr. Eustace, the Leader of the Opposition allegedly said in an interview with Mr. Kenyon,” Gonsalves said.

Read: PM’s ‘professional gentleman’ prepared to go public

Issue No. 2

Gonsalves also spoke of the “unprofessional partisan approach of the BBC journalist”. He said they were “chaperoned” around the country by an opposition politician, who brother, he said, took the foreign journalists to Buccament Bay by boat.

Issue No. 3

He described as “duplicitous”, Eustace’s interview with the BBC.

Gonsalves told the nation of the encounter with the BBC journalists when he telephoned a programme on WE FM on Feb. 18

Gonsalves noted that Eustace, during his radio programme on Feb. 18 said that Gonsalves is a liar and that he (Eustace) never said that Ames came to his office with money to bribe him.

“Anyone who listened to Mr. Eustace on Monday the 18th, would have reasonably concluded, and, certainly from all the reports, that the BBC journalist did not ask him about any alleged payment to me by Mr. Ames, or quote on quote, bribe, as he, Eustace, puts it.”

Gonsalves said that Eustace did not denounce the persons who told him (Gonsalves) about Eustace reportedly making the allegation, but denounced Gonsalves.

“In other words, I invented it. Well, how would I invent such a thing? I wasn’t there,” Gonsalves said.

He further said that Eustace gave no indication on Feb. 18 that he had any conversation with Kenyon about the alleged bribe.

But he further said that Eustace said at a press conference on Feb. 20 that Kenyon had asked him about the allegation.

“Now, do you not find it passing strange that on Monday he would have spoken expansively and did not tell us […] that he had a conversation with Mr. Kenyon relating to bribes?” Gonsalves said.

He further said “there’s a lot of communication between certain people in England and here in St. Vincent and somebody must have advised him (Eustace) …” to say the BBC had asked him about the allegation.

“So, first of all, he didn’t tell us. The omission to speak the truth is not necessarily a lie. An omission to speak the truth when it would be reasonably expected that you will not make the omission, would leave right thinking people to conclude that you have something to hide. He would have made a very interest witness in a court of law with his first statement and then this one,” said Gonsalves, a lawyer.

Gonsalves further noted that the producer of the BBC programme for which Hill and Kenyon work had told I-Witness News that none of his staff know of a video in which the reported allegation against Gonsalves is made.

“Interestingly, he didn’t say that he asked the journalist whether in fact Mr. Eustace had said so,” Gonsalves said in reference to the to BBC producer.

Read: Producer says BBC has no video of bribe accusation

Gonsalves said that the “equivocating response” by the BBC producer and “the new disclosure by Mr. Eustace that he had in fact discussed the matter led me to make a telephone call to the same professional gentleman who had first of all been my source, that he was present on Wednesday evening at the hotel of Mr. Kenyon and saw the video”.

Gonsalves said that the “professional gentleman” has said he is willing to say publicly what he saw at the hotel, where the video of the reported allegation was allegedly displayed.

“Of course, we will know what was said or we may not know what was said because a full conversation of that interview may or may not see the light of day,” Gonsalves said.

Issue No. 4

Gonsalves said another issues is “the context and sub-text, which united the NDP’s opportunism and the BBC’s journalists arrogant, baronial, colonial behaviour under the guise of investigative journalism”.

The BBC journalists came to St. Vincent as part of a “Panarama” programme about Harlequin Property, which owns Buccament Bay Resort.

Gonsalves said he was he not the journalists’ concern her.

“They are looking into problems which they believe exist with Ames and Harlequin. But, if they can come down here and get some dirt which suggests that Ralph is somehow in an unholy cahoots with Dave Ames and Harlequin, it gives their story an nice spin.

“And, in the case of Eustace and the NDP, they’re not so concerned about Ames, you know. You don’t hear, ‘Ralph will demit office, that is what they want,’” Gonsalves said.

“The problem with them is this: they get a little snippet of something and none of them put on their thinking cap. They rush, going around believing … I have him,” he further said.

Issue No. 5

Dave Ames, chair of Harlequin Resorts (Photo: Searchlight.vc).

Dave Ames, chair of Harlequin Resorts (Photo: Searchlight.vc).

The final issues, Gonsalves said, relates to the Buccament Bay Resort project, Ames, and their challenges.

“Whatever problems they have in the UK, Mr Ames and any investor, that is for them to resolve. Up to now, the British government has not sent anything to me to say that Ames has been investigated or being investigated for anything on the criminal side,” he said.

He further noted that there are a lot of “fights going on with former employees and with contractors and with some investors.

“These are legal battles which they have,” Gonsalves said.

“The point is this, Mr. Ames and his group are persons which the government of Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines would bring and investment.

“It is not that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has Ames and Harlequin and others say ‘No, no, no; we keep out hands off them’,” Gonsalves further said, noting that Harlequin also has investment in Barbados, St. Lucia.

“These are government which have also made their check,” he further said.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Eustace ‘duplicitous’ about interview with BBC — PM

  1. Duplicitous = deceitful,, thats what Gonsalves said.

    Lets just cut to the chase, if there are people who claim to have witnessed a bag full of money going in and not coming out, lets just see the program, listen to the accusers and make our own minds up. Everything else is crap and delaying tactics and perhaps duplicitous.

    Why all the crap, they said this, they done that, they rude. All bollocks, lets see the program.

    As for Buccament, Gonsalves saying any problems people have with wages, contractors being paid, investors etc is their problem. Its not, because it reflects on SVG, and such statements by Gonsalves does us extreme damage, because we should care, we should be concerned, we should act against the perpetrator.

    AS for trying to make out that its not just us, but Barbados and St. Lucia as well. Harlequin only got those contracts on the back of Buccament. In fact Buccament was the first such project that Ames had ever undertaken. Before that he was akin to an Essex barrow boy. Buccament is the only project that has shown some completion, and that is only half finished. Perhaps some of the land that Ames is hawking still belongs to Punett. People investing in Barbados and St. Lucia, Dominica Republic, Brazil, nothing has been built, their money has been used at Buccament and gone in other directions.

    Hundreds if not thousands of people stand to lose their life savings, their retirement pensions, and we are not expected to care, none of our business, that’s between them and Harlequin. I don’t think so, only someone with a very nasty mind would even think that for a moment. I think £300 million is the tip of the iceberg, eventually the amounts could reach in excess of a billion.

    Its the failure on the part of Gonsalves to carry out due diligence on Ames that has got us into all our problems, the whole matter rests on the back of Gonsalves.

    And we are debating if Gonsalves is an equal to a British Prime Minister. If someone was rude to him. Could you imagine for a moment a British PM’s wife getting a contract and substantial payment, from a contractor that her husband had recently signed a resort deal with?

    Would a British Prime Minister call all the dirty names and derogatory names on British citizens, not for a moment could that happen, how then can Gonsalves want to be held up as someone special, someone equal to other prime ministers that behave like civilised gentlemen.

    PANORAMA, BRING ON THE PROGRAM.

    JUST BRING ON THE PROGRAM, LET THE PEOPLE BE THE JUDGES

    Posted by peterbinose | March 1, 2013, 09:41
  2. GONSALVES, your starting to sound like a broken record, its time to stop all canções de intervenção and realise that no one at all cares about all the spin that you put on this very serious situation.

    We are going to learn that Eustace took no part in commenting or informing Panorama about the alleged bag of money, that it’s alleged was carried into your office and did not leave again with the courier.

    We will hear that Eustace was told of the alleged bag by Panorama, this was the first he had heard of such a matter.

    Eustace was asked about a bag, asked if he had heard the whisper. “Eustace has denied making the allegation, and said it was put to him during an interview with Hill and Kenyon”.

    If it comes to who to believe, I believe Eustace, because he is not known to be a liar. I do not believe Gonsalves because he is known to be a liar, he is in fact a self confessed liar.

    Once a man says “I sometimes tell lies”, from that moment on I believe nothing of what he says, without evidence or proof. The problem in my mind is, that I believe liars are like addicts, who attract other addicts, liars attract other liars.

    At the end of the day the Panaorama program featuring Harlequin, Dave Ames and his family, and perhaps GONSALVES [and others] as best supporting actor/s, will show. Unwilling as GONSALVES is to play that part, it will show in the UK, BBC America, BBC World, and several Caribbean channels.

    Now we have only a story that is about to be told, but has been given a huge airing by GONSALVES. GONSALVES has seen to it that the whole World knows about the allegations.

    Until the final, the showing of the Program, lets all keep open minds about the whole matter. We must not prejudge the final outcome, everyone is innocent unless proven guilty.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 2, 2013, 17:34

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