A Heather Cole Column – Where is the Money?
“In the criminal justice system
treasonous offenses are considered especially heinous.
In Barbados, the dedicated detectives who investigate these
vicious felonies are members of an elite squad
known as the Task Force.
This must be one of their stories.”
Adapted from Law and Order
If Barbados was a properly functioning democracy, in light of the revelation on the front page of The Sunday Sun 4th March, 2018, that the Four Seasons property had been sold to Jada Construction; the Attorney General of Barbados would have announced and held a press conference the next day to inform all Barbadians that he would be investigating this matter. We have not heard a squeak from him and the entire Democratic Labour Party is silent. This is such a grave matter that even though Parliament has dissolved one would have expected him to say something.
The matter in which Jada Construction now holds the conveyance for the Four Seasons Property is not an allegation. By now, the entire island has seen the front page of the conveyance document on the front page of the Sunday sun and most likely seen and read the entire document that was featured on the Barbados Underground two weeks previously on February 20, 2018. There is therefore physical evidence for the entire world to see.
The property was conveyed to Jada Construction on December 19th, 2014 and received and recorded at the Land Registry on March 10th 2015. They are several attorneys at law whose names are on this document and therefore are familiar with the particulars of the conveyance and or sale of the property. Namely, M. Adrian King of Inn Chambers , Lucas street Bridgetown, Annette Yvonne Linton of Briar Hall in Christ Church and Theodore David Gittens of the Rock, St. Peter.
Attorney General is responsible to the Crown, the Courts, the legislature, the executive branch of government but his constitutional responsibility is beyond that of a political minister.
This is the man whose duty among others it is to uphold to Constitution of Barbados, to create laws when they are lacking and to prevent over reach when laws are found to be infringing on the rights of citizens. He is supposed to uphold the conscience of the land that determines what is right from what is wrong. He is also the guardian of the public interest and that includes all tax payers of Barbados.
It leads one to believe that this man never understood what his role is and therefore he could never function in it. His action or lack of action in this matter would not surprise many due to his lack luster performance during his entire tenure of Attorney General. Adriel Brathwaite should have stamped his authority as attorney general with the Integrity Legislation and the Freedom of Information Act to instill the required behaviors of all parliamentarians if they were lacking and reinforcing that they were not above the law. Alas, there has been no accountability or transparency on his watch.
If this was done, he would have been in a position to have demanded the resignation of the Speaker of the House, Michael Carrington when he stole the funds of a wheel chair bound pensioner. He would have insisted Michael Lashley, the then Minister of Housing be fired when it was discovered that he had purposely relayed incorrect information from the Cabinet as well as deliberately altered communication from the Cabinet.
Yet Mr. Brathwaite stood up to justify why a police officer who with intent shot and killed a man was allowed bail. We therefore know that he knows how to selectively use his voice.
His position as Attorney General makes him more than complicit to the sale if he says or does nothing about it. Both the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism are on record providing information which was futurist in nature of a pending sale when the conveyance and or sale had taken place three years previously.
Although Mr. Brathwaite swore an oath to become the Attorney General and uphold the Constitution of Barbados, his actions or lack thereof speaks otherwise. It tells us that he believes that politicians are above the law; that there is one law for the Greeks and another for the Medes. Given this track record, he would have to be a man without a conscience when he asks the people of St. Philip to reelect him again because he has done nothing to uphold Constitution especially with regard to the matter at hand.
Then there is the matter of the missing money, $US60m which the government borrowed from the NIS to repay the ANSA Mcal loan when it was called and now the $US 60m that is mentioned on the Conveyance that Jada Construction now has in its possession. No record can be found of the tender for the sale of the property neither was it advertised in the local press. Hence there has been a breech in the financial rules of the government of Barbados. Neither of these two sums of money has been accounted for at the NIS or in the case of the latter as having entered the Treasury or was reported as revenue earned in the estimates of 2015, 2016 or 2017. However, the latter was recorded by the Auditor General as a receivable in one of his recent reports.
By default, the Attorney General is guilty of dereliction of his duties. The Minister of Finance has lied to Parliament and denied the transaction when the press asked him about it; the Minister of Tourism also lied to the people of Barbados. In my opinion both of them have implicated themselves in this matter of funds missing from the public purse. The people have seen tangible evidence of a conveyance and the Democratic Labour Party Administration is deadly silent. This matter can only be classified as treason because they have betrayed the country. In another time, those guilty of such crimes would be hung, beheaded or quartered. In today’s terms one can easily justify a 25 years to life sentence.