The New Today
Editorials

Sorry – Not true!!!

THE NEW TODAY has lost count of the amount of times the current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has been caught openly telling lies to the public.

The latest was Wednesday when the Prime Minister was interviewed by three female journalists and was asked a question about an investigation that he had made mention about a decade ago involving the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Brian Francis.

The modus operandi of PM Mitchell over the years is to make mention of an investigation in train whenever contentious issues arise in the public domain.

It is quite obvious that he did not expect the issue to resurface and rather than speak the truth the Prime Minister told a bold and nasty lie in stating that Dr. Francis was fired by his government and the high court had upheld the decision.

THE NEW TODAY is challenging Dr. Mitchell to provide the suit number of this case, the name of the judge who heard the matter and the decision that was handed down by the court against Dr. Francis.

It is true that many of the persons in the field of journalism are new and will not be privy to the Brian Francis issue which involved Dr. Mitchell himself.

The records will show that the former PS in Finance was sent on leave by the Public Service Commission (PSC) after the current occupant in the chair of Prime Minister in the Botanical Gardens informed him that he had lost confidence in him.

It should also be noted that this happened a matter of months after the same Prime Minister had lured Dr. Francis to leave his job at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in St. Kitts and introduced him to his Cabinet of Ministers as “a shining star”.

The issue which broke the camel’s back was the decision taken by the PS in Finance not to give his blessings to a controversial deal in which some shady characters from Europe had come to the government with a deal involving US$100 million in promissory notes.

Dr. Francis refused to sign onto the deal unless the so-called foreign businessmen met certain criteria that had been set by him.

The PS Finance decided to challenge the directives of the PSC to send him home on half pay and retained Dr. Francis Alexis, QC to file a case on his behalf in the matter.

The case was set for hearing before high court judge Justice Lyle St Paul who kept postponing it repeatedly for years for reasons best known to him.

The very first time that the matter was heard in court the presiding judge was former OECS Chief Justice, Brian Alleyne of Dominica and the government through the then Attorney General Raymond Anthony decided not to contest the case.

THE NEW TODAY is challenging PM Mitchell to produce to the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique the evidence in his possession of Justice Alleyne handing down a ruling in favour of government in the Brian Francis matter.

With Dr. Mitchell’s own AG “throwing in the towel” in the case, Dr. Francis decided to return to his office at the Ministry of Finance and the event was covered by one particular media house.

It is a blatant lie that was told by PM Mitchell on Wednesday to the three members of the press corps that the high court had upheld the decision of his government to fire Dr. Francis from his job in the Ministry of Finance.

Anyone with knowledge of the civil service should know that government cannot fire any established worker from the job and that it is only the PSC who can do anything of the sort.

THE NEW TODAY is aware that it was Dr. Alexis, QC who was approached by the then AG Raymond Anthony to try and get Dr. Francis out of the PS office in the Ministry of Finance on the grounds that another position was being worked out for him in the service.

Where is this court ruling in favour of government against Dr. Brian Francis? It is just not existing in any court house in Grenada.

THE NEW TODAY is aware of the many instances in which the current holder of the Office of Prime Minister has used his immunity privileges in Parliament from possible lawsuits to malign people and to tell bold-faced, open and deliberate lies to deceive the unsuspecting public.

However, he was forced to issue an apology when challenged by late Prime Minister Sir Nicholas Brathwaite that he made a statement that the NNP government had provided assistance to him in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The records will also show that the same Dr. Mitchell and his government had to pay Dr. Francis the accumulated half month’s salary that was denied him for many years while he sat at home waiting on the outcome of the court case.

This was another instance in which taxpayer’s money went down the drain by a Prime Minister who has squandered millions of tax dollars over the years through reckless actions on his part.

The former PS Finance eventually left the island to go to Florida in the United States to pursue his doctorate in Economics and was never “fired” from his position in the service as PM Mitchell so erroneously told the reporters on Wednesday.

THE NEW TODAY expects Dr. Francis to seek legal redress before the high court for this clear and vulgar attempt by the Grenada Prime Minister to engage in defamation of his character.