The DPP’s supposed to review all cases the Police – or in this case SOCU – wants to prosecute. In the case of long-trumpeted accusations by the PNC/APNU and AFC of the PPP government “siphoning off billions and billions”, it took them over two years after their “forensic” audits of dozens of agencies to bring charges against two PPP Administration officials – Brassington, CEO of NICIL and Singh, Minister of Finance.
And what charges!! It was as if the mountain strained – and produced a mouse!! Criminal “Misconduct in a public official” – an English medieval charge coterminous with burning folks at the stake! – that was long thrown out there. And what actions deserve possible “drawing and quartering”? That Singh and Brassington knowingly sold Government land far below the market value. Matters not that “market value” is a very slippery notion, and even if proven, there might’ve been extenuating circumstances for their decision.
Anyhow, SOCU made no accusations that Brassington and Singh took a piece of the action or anything like that – just that they gave away the store. So, even if SOCU’s right, there was no ‘siphoning” from the Treasury, just that the Treasury could’ve been further fattened. But in the latest charges against the PPP’s financial mavens, it’s clear the PNC Government’s clutching at straws to satisfy their constituents, who’d been promised PPP blood.
They’ve added the sale of the Sanata Complex — with facts so dodgy they prove someone’s either sleeping at the DPP’s office or else they’re singing for their supper!! That SOCU brought the charges we can understand – they’re directly under POLITICAL control.
The gist of the charge, like your Eyewitness said, is that Brassington and Singh knowingly and deliberately gave away the (Government) store.
Now, in these sales, how’d you determine “fair” value? Well, you go to qualified and certified “valuators” – which both the Government agents and the buyer did. The facts show NICIL first got a valuation of $245 million; the buyer got one for $350 million; and then NICIL got another one for $1 billion!
Right off the bat, this shows NICIL was batting for the Government!! The final agreed price was the average of the buyer’s valuation and the HIGHER NICIL one.
And this was giving away the store? Oi vey!!
Another mountain that rumbled and strained to only produce a mouse was the CariCom “stakeholders” forum, at the Princess last week to consider the status of the CSME. The consensus was it wasn’t the fault of the Secretariat the CSME’s moribund, but of the Heads of Government (HOGS). Well…duh!!…wasn’t this always the case? Do we need a CDB-funded meet to tell us this??
Whatever gap there’s been between the promise and achievement of CariCom has been the handiwork of the Little Caesar HOGS, who won’t concede an iota of their executive authority to a CariCom body to implement their decisions. So what we have is: these HOGS merrily pontificating about “what is to be done” at their “Summits” (which is so named to suggest their elevated statuses!!) but then returning “home” and sitting on their hands! So, what’ll change at the HOGS “special summit” next month? Absolutely nothing!
The ever-candid St Vincent PM, Gonsalves, however, singled out Barbados and TT for preventing the CSME’s “free movement of peoples”.
But since their economies have collapsed, that’s now moot, ain’t it??!!
Trump threw a spanner into the G-7 meet when he refused to endorse the final communique, and called Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau, “dishonest and weak”!!
Now onto his Singapore meet with N Korea’s “Rocket man”!!