Tuesday, January 28, 2020

PM Says Somebody Benefited From Juffali’s Appointment

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has declared that somebody and not Saint Lucia, benefitted from the appointment of Saudi billionaire, Walid Juffali, as this country’s representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Chastanet declared that citizenship and diplomatic passports are two separate  and unique issues.

“They are not mutually inclusive,” he explained.

He recalled that in opposition he wrote a letter regarding the appointment of Doctor Ernest Hilaire as Chairman of the Citizenship By Investment Programme (CIP).

“So when you had a situation in which you had an individual who is actually involved in a very controversial appointment of a Saudi Arabian businessman as an ambassador,   in which there are actually more questions than answers, and then you turn around and you place that person as Chairman of the CIP, what we’re  saying is that you’re looking for trouble,” the PM asserted.

He made reference to an Al Jazera report recently which indicated that Caribbean Islands are willing to accept money in return for diplomatic passports.

Chastanet said that in Saint Lucia’s case, which is all he can speak to,  Doctor Ernest Hilaire when he was High Commissioner in the UK lobbied his government  for Juffali to  be this country’s Permanent Representative at the IMO, in order to introduce a ship registration system here.

He recalled that the then labour administration agreed to Hilaire’s request and in December 2013, the Saudi national was appointed.

Chastanet said that two months later, Hilaire recommended that Juffali be appointed as the Deputy Permanent representative.

“We know that three weeks later that request changed to him resigning from the IMO position and allowing Mr. Juffali to become the permanent representative. We also know that in January of 2015, Mr. Juffali’s lawyers made several inquiries into the immunity that his position had.”

According to the PM, in May 2015, Juffali’s lawyers wanted to be assured by the then Saint Lucia government that if a request was made for his immunity to be withdrawn, the then administration would not do so.

He recalled that lawyers for Juffali’s ex-wife made a request in June 2015 for the government here to strip the Saudi national of his diplomatic immunity, but received no response.

Chastanet said another request was made in August and the government here indicated that it had no intention of doing so.

Chastanet said in December 2015 the UK Foreign Office requested that Juffali’s immunity be withdrawn, but the government did not do so.

The UK media quoted a High Court Judge as saying in 2016 that the billionaire secured  a diplomatic posting with Saint Lucia so he could avoid a multi-million pound divorce suit brought by his super-model ex-wife.

It was reported that Juffali, who died in July 2016,  had argued that his status as St Lucia’s representative on the IMO meant he had “general immunity” from being sued in the British courts.

“So I can say without any fear of conflict that the appointment of Doctor Juffali was always about immunity – it wasn’t about economic development; it wasn’t about a lab or anything else – it was about immunity,” Prime Minister Chastanet told reporters.

He asserted that Saint Lucia did not benefit in any way.

“So is it reasonable for us to ask the question after particularly seeing the Al Jazeera story: ‘Who benefitted?’”

Chastanet said he wanted to hear from the people who benefitted.

He urged them to come clean with the people of Saint Lucia as to how much they received.

“There’s no question in my mind that somebody benefitted and for sure, it wasn’t the state,” the PM told reporters.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Why not investigate and tell us who benefited, then seize the assets as recompense and jail them . Oh no. Wait. That would then lead to the others on that side asking for investigates against guys in your administration. And then more seizures and prison. That might actually be beneficial to the country? Huh Mr. PM. How about standing up for the people of St. Lucia?

    • Exactly my take. It fits to their narrative. I have always been taught to not poke the beehive, since they don’t discriminate when they attack. You have the power to investigate…Why don’t you…they are all trying to gain political points. Our people are much smarter than we give them credit for

  2. well..well… interesting..this volaire want to head st lucia now.. a dream from his UWI days that he must be PM. you people who taking hilarious on must be inhaling coke and smoking sensi…this is one dirty bastard that appear to have made too many dirty deals. he wanted chairman of CIP because it was an opportunity he saw to teef more.

  3. This guy is just talking out of his AS$6le! You talk all that talk but you are part of the ruling establishment so if there has been any “coco-mackcackry” then investigate (which y’all should have done a long time ago) and take the guilty to task! And don’t think you and your cohorts are absolved. Remember Linton? While he there beating on Skerrit, he had his guy asking for a cut for him. All of y’all doing the same thing! You would want people to believe you are clean when you damn-well know you are NOT! The Guy getting kickbacks, you the hurricane and your family receiving kickbacks, etc, etc. I dare say that this current government has the greatest number of leeches, crabs, and suckers of any previous government. SHAME on you Allen Chastenet! Best you talk about something else!

  4. Mr. Hilarious has to be a very shady character. He should be legally banned from politics in St. Lucia. More and more these plunderers’ unlawful and corrupt dealings are slowly but surely coming to light. They must be made to face corruption charges and be jailed like common criminals. Instead of putting up himself for re-election, Mr. Hilarious should be in court facing a judge. His dealings with Mr. Walid Juffali is extremely suspicious. Many of these people in politics are no more than common criminals wrapped in jacket and tie and fancy clothes.

  5. With this been said and he opening his Royal Posterior, on to the Miami Herald. Who got paid for Hewanorra ?? Was it you DEAR ALLEN ?? Was it SEAN MATTHEWS ?? Was it ANTONIO ASSENZA ?? Was it TEEFING GUY JOSEPH ?? Was it FAT ALBERT STEPHESON KING ?? WHO BENEFITED DEAR ALLEN ?? We urge them to come clean with the People of St Lucia about how much they received. There is no question in our minds somebody benefited for sure, and it wasn’t the state. When you are in GLASS HOUSE don’t throw stones.

  6. I am certain that Juffali came to St Lucia in 2014 with a briefcase containing $250 thousand US, as declared to Customs and immigration at Hewanorra International Airport. Hiliare was communicated with by both Customs and immigration that night Juffali came with that money.

  7. There should be no immunity to ministers. This is a position where the most corruption happens and they are immune. This in itself is a crime. They are all criminals. As you can see the people all over the world are revolting. Sick of you corrupt officials. So sick of you dirty thieves. Nothing you do nothing for the poor the sick and the needed. You just think of your selves. Selfish dogs. I put a curse in all ministers and thier familes that steal the peoples money. May god show you 100 fold and make your bodies rot from within.

  8. Chastanet you will have all your time to make your case against Hilaire.Remember you have already lost round 1 in the high court.Its a case of the pot caling kettle black.You are the leader of the most corruot government in the history of st lucis and you want to tslk about somebody receving money?Oh I forgot that you are an expert in that area.But dont worry “les bom kaka ar paytay tout tou kai twop sho pou ou”make juke bois translate the last sentence for you..Shameless .

  9. Labourites are the dumbest and most bias set of people I have come across. Just reading some of these comments u can see why slp keep taking its supporters for a ride. Thank God majority of st lucians don’t think like you guys. No wonder youll are in the opposition where you’ll won’t be leaving any time soon. Sit back and watch the country develop. What you’ll party couldn’t do.

  10. You wont talk,because you are also involved in dirty deals.So you become an acomplice to the criminal.And you still have the face to face us.Boy you guys are something.

  11. PM, enough of this side tracking exercise!
    If you’re indeed convinced that there were some wrongdoing as it relates to the appointment of Dr Juffali, then it’s past high time that you mount an investigation into this affair. This has been your party’s main pivotal stance against Dr Hilaire and Dr Anthony, long before the last general elections, which was 42 months ago; you have left a mere 18 months for this term of office. This is now, at best, a mundane subject.

    Please do the decent thing and spare us the trivialities; mount an investigation with the greatest haste.

    And whilst we’re at it, do ensure and give us the firm assurance that the terms of reference will include: the dissemination of the report to the public; addressing the recent press release by the SLP in response to the queried raised by the UWP’s PR machinery; the procedures and methodologies employed in the appointments of other similar ambassadors, such as Chougary etc.

    Please spare us all these diversionary stuffs, which themselves are creating far too much conflicts and division, even enmity, in the country among the respective party supporters and loyalists, who are essentially all St. Lucians.

  12. Who benefitting from our lands and the airport project? How much is Seam Matthews and Lockerbie getting paid to do nothing? Who are getting cut backs from all the direct awards. Don’t try to deflect from the corruption and bobol going on right now in this UWP government. Why was a wanted man Jack Lam given our passport? Answer these questions, Allen Guy Volaire

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