To those political pundits who have determined that Leader of the Opposition David Thompson is too much of a choir boy for the hurly burly of politics got a rude awakening at the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) last night at Haggatt Hall. In a 90 minute presentation, David Thompson betrayed a high level of rascality when he ruthlessly prosecuted a case of corruption against Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government. At the end on it all, David Thompson may have quelled all the doubts about his leadership caused by the 1994 Queens Park IMF Affair. He gave the stunned crowd the evidence which surrounds the much discussed cheque donation which was deposited to Arthur’s personal account. Again and again, the crowd was bombarded with video presentation of cheques and documents projected on the two big screens to support his charge. The high level of financial contributions by the former Caribbean Commercial Bank to Arthur headed by Mariano Browne at the time (Former Chairman of Enterprise Growth Fund) and the BLP during the 2003 general election was mind blowing. Additionally, the reference to the 4.25% commission demanded in the Eastern Lottery Gambling deal i.e. Barbados Cricket Association lottery which was pocketed by a high ranking government official has thickened the plot. He also introduced the name Hallam Nichols as the man who has been pocketing millions in commissions because of all the government business directed his way. Thompson made the point that Hallam Nichols and the Prime Minister are very close friends. The close friendship was illustrated when Nichols was invited to Arthur’s private wedding over Ministers in Arthur’s cabinet.
The ‘cheque’ which was deposited by Arthur to his personal account and Thompson’s expose of the ‘flyover’ project may have been the performance to date to firmly move the scales in favour of his party.
To all those present who heard the case leveled by Thompson against Arthur and the BLP, the verdict is GUILTY as charged.