Serious Wiretapping Questions for Owen Arthur
Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados
In the Sunday Sun front page newspaper article of 11th February 2018 titled Not On My Watch, former Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, publicly confirmed :-
(1) that there are “extra-regional third parties” who provide the Royal Barbados Police Force with the “capability” to tap the telephones of persons in Barbados; that these “extra-regional third parties” are given “authorisation” to work with the Royal Barbados Police Force; and that the tapping of the telephones of persons in Barbados with the assistance of these “extra-regional third parties” has been ongoing since the year 1991– a period of some 27 years;
(2) that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister David Thompson (deceased), and current Prime Minister Freundel Stuart all knew about this practice of the Royal Barbados Police Force collaborating with “extra-regional third parties” to tap the telephones of Barbadians;
(3) that “it was common practice for all Prime Ministers……. to give authorisation” for the Royal Barbados Police Force to collaborate with these “extra-regional third parties” in the tapping of telephones in Barbados; and
(4) that “all Opposition Leaders over the years had been informed” about the Royal Barbados Police Force’s use of wiretapping technology to tap the phones of Barbadians.
And so, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur could bluster and obfuscate as much as he likes about the Governor General being formally responsible for the efficient administration of the Police Force — sensible and conscious Barbadians are not buying his contention that he and other Barbadian Prime Ministers are not relevant to the issue of foreign entities collaborating with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping the telephones of Barbadians.
We are also not buying his pathetic effort to turn himself into a victim by claiming that “it has been represented in the public domain that my phones had been tapped also”.Nor are we interested in his irrelevant sob-story about Darwin Dottin being his best friend at primary school !
Perceptive Barbadians will have noted that in spite of all of his effusions and feverish protestations on the matter, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is yet to deny that foreign entities have been collaborating with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping telephones in Barbados.
As a citizen of Barbados I find it to be totally unacceptable that our Government and national Police Force could be joining together with foreign entities to tap the telephones of Barbadians without having established any legal authorisation in the Laws of Barbados for this practice; without establishing any protocols of oversight and accountability in relation to the carrying out of this activity; without in any way informing us–the Barbadian people — about any of this happening; and without providing us with even basic information about the identity of the mysterious foreign entities that are being permitted to invade the privacy of Barbadians.
Who — former Prime Minister Arthur and current Prime Minister Stuart — are these “extra-regional third parties” that are permitted to collaborate with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping telephones in our country ?
What are the protocols and regulations under which this practice has been taking place over the past 27 years ? Aren’t we — the citizens of Barbados — entitled to know the criteria by which a decision is made to tap the telephone of a Barbadian citizen? And who makes that decision?
Furthermore, what mechanism of oversight and accountability has been attached to this practice ?Indeed, is there ANY mechanism of oversight and accountability ?
When all is said and done,the reality is that you–Mr Owen Arthur– held the office of Prime Minister of this country for 14 of the 27 years during which this practice of telephone tapping was taking place. And you– Mr Stuart– have held the post of Prime Minister for some 8 of those 27 years.
Do not insult our intelligence with idle and evasive talk about the Governor General or insinuations about current Opposition Leader Mia Mottley! We need answers to the serious questions that surround this 27 year old practice of engaging with foreign entities to tap the telephones of Barbadians.