Category: Island Talk Created on Saturday, 05 May 2012 12:38
I can’t understand this! Just yesterday something perplexing was forwarded to my inbox, so I decided to put pen to paper to help clear up its contents. I too being a journalist, I choose to protect the source given its nature. However, as you yourself can also appreciate, as journalists we pride ourselves on seeking out the hard facts; and also providing a raft of analysis to break down the issues surrounding a story, event or a not so straight forward situation.
Let me put into perspective why I am addressing this matter. I have visited your serene and hospitable island several times during your St. Patrick’s celebrations; and have recognized (and loved) how Montserratians pride themselves on holding their sons of the soil, who have achieved significant success, in high esteem. This patriotic attitude must be commended and must be held with a degree of sacredness. Therefore, it was with utter bewilderment that I sat and read a particular email, which was, in fact, a legal issue being filed in the High Court on Montserrat by a gentleman from the United States. My oh my, how he defamed and outright disrespected your people (in particular, a number of individuals who have served the island of Montserrat and its people with high distinction).
The legal matter being filed by this American individual has blasted the integrity of Sir Howard Fergus, Queens Counsel Kenneth Allen and former Chief Minister David Brandt; the Attorney General Esco Henry and ordinary civil servants amongst others. I had to wonder what proof this man had in making such allegations. So I decided to call on my investigative researcher to pull some information on this gentleman, as it's the normal thing for a journalist to do, to ensure he can provide a series of facts and not hearsay or innuendos. So let me offer up some of the information we found on this American gentleman.
First, the once popular American University of the Caribbean washed him up onto your shores. However, according to school records he was kicked out of the school for failing to pay his tuition fees. But before he washed out to sea, he created his first scandal. In the late ‘80’s (some of you may remember) he got the British government to take then Chief Minister John Osborne and his Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Housing Mr Noel ‘Dadda’ Tuitt to court claiming they had tried to defraud him by asking for money under the table to get the alien landholding license approved for a company both himself and another American indivdual had setup on your island.
It didn’t stop there, he then tried to get an reknowned barrister the late Mr John Kelsick disbarred and even wrote to the UK Bar Association. It was the local bar association that stepped in and said no, this is a local matter and should be dealt with here.
Now before vanishing, this man owes thousands to a number of banks like the Royal Bank of Canada, what was called the Barclays Bank at the time and your very own indigenous Bank of Montserrat. All of these banks hold deposits from ordinary Montserratians, and has failed to honour the repayment scheduled agreed on all of his loans. He has since been taken to court by one of the banks and a re-payment structure has been put in place we are yet to find out if he’s made any such payments under this agreement).
Now he has resurfaced, with claims of life threatening medical problems, which my assistant could not source. Additionally, verification from the legal office on Montserrat proved that they themselves had never seen such evidence. Despite his “frailty” history seems to be repeating itself as he continues to malign the character of your sons and people.
This cunning American individual was once again able to convince the establishment on Montserrat to bring criminal case against one of its lawyers (a case which should have been a civil one based on a number of legal minds); and now has turned to sue the very same Government which extended your limited financial resources to fund what turned out to be a very hefty legal matter.
If this doesn't leave the ordinary resident on the island mystified then what else will?
This man has stood the test of time just as his allegations of corruption and fraud against your own people who he has labelled as “unprofessional”, “corrupt” and “fraudulent”. Is this image the residents of Montserrat want the rest of the world to have? Can the residents of Montserrat not see this man for who he really is? Will they continue to afford him the opportunity to masquerade in their country as a victim of some grand scheme of fraud and corruption? Should he be allowed to waste more tax payers money and court time? Think about these things and be objective, it's your country not mine!
Thanks, Mr Editor, for giving me the space in your publication.
Photo Credit To Tradewinds Real Estate
James Washington is a freelancer journalist based in Europe and the USA
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