Former Foreign Affairs Minister Oliver Joseph has issued an open challenge to new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to provide proof and evidence that US$140, 000 from the sale of a Diplomatic passport to a Polish national ended up in a bank account of the South St George constituency branch of the New National Party (NNP).Oliver Joseph challenges PM Dickon Mitchell
Appearing on “To the Point Programme” on the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) Tuesday, the defeated Member of Parliament for St David denied claims made by the Grenadian leader that the arrangement with the individual was for payment of US$290, 000.00 to get the diplomatic appointment and passport and that only US$150, 000.00 ended up in the Treasury.
“I am saying here categorically he (PM Dickon Mitchell) cannot produce any Cabinet Conclusion to show that US$290, 000.00 was supposed to come to the government and only US$150, 000.00 came and the other US$140, 000.00 went into South St George Constituency – he cannot prove that.
According to ex-minister Joseph, the Polish man did pay the US$150, 000.00 to the Treasury and Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell did acknowledge that he had a receipt showing the existence of this amount of funds.
“I am saying that if he has any evidence of a Cabinet Conclusion which says he has to pay US$290, 000.00, he could publish it – come forward with it,” he said.
“…I am certain that there is no Cabinet Conclusion that asked the gentleman to pay US$290, 000.00 – none,” he added.
The ex-government minister also challenged PM Dickon Mitchell to provide proof that $US140, 000 from the so-called payment of US$290, 000.00 went to the NNP South St George constituency. “He must prove that – prove how any government minister or public servant could get out from the Treasury $US140, 000.00 (and send) to a party Constituency office fund – let him prove that,” he told the host of the programme.
“I challenge him to prove that – he could never prove that, so that is totally misleading the statement that he made,” he said.
The former NNP minister described the transaction with the Polish national as not an admittance by the former regime that it was involved in the sale of diplomatic passports.
He said the policy of the NNP regime is that foreign nationals who planned to help the government as Ambassadors were required to make a payment of US$150, 000.00 in a Technical Fund within the government’s Consolidated account in the bank.
He said the money was being asked for from these persons who approached the government to work for free “as an indication that you are prepared to work and help” with the development of Grenada.
The money, he added, is intended to make sure that these persons are not coming forward to help solely on the basis that they just want a diplomatic passport.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has maintained that he has a Cabinet Conclusion which alludes to payment of US$290, 000.00 for the diplomatic passport by the Polish national.
He also said that the passport was never issued to the individual who has been calling on the new Congress administration to return the money to him.
The Prime Minister has said that he has no intention of returning any money as the gentleman took a gamble on the passport issue and lost out on the deal with the previous rulers.
In the June 23 general election, PM Dickon Mitchell defeated ex-Minister Joseph in the battle for the St David constituency.