ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) is demanding full disclosure from authorities about the move to have Guyanese attorney Sanjeev Datadin appointed to assist police investigations.
“The nation must also be told what fees it is planned to pay him as Special Constable,” stated the ALP in a release issued yesterday.
The call comes less than a week after National Security Minister Dr Errol Cort revealed that the Police Service Commission (PSC) is considering a police request to have Datadin appointed to assist fraud investigations, including into the IHI debt settlement matter.
Datadin’s initial appointment on January 3 was deemed null and void because it did not follow the correct procedures.
Stating that the appointment is “now being forced on the Police Service Commission”, the ALP said it is still awaiting a response from the prime minister on whether he played a role in the attempts to have Datadin installed.
The opposition party said Commissioner of Police Vere Browne must also “tell the nation who instructed him to appoint Datadin and for what purpose.
“The people of Antigua & Barbuda must be assured that the Police Commissioner is an independent office free of political interference and is not part of political witch-hunts and political lynching,” the ALP stated.
The ALP further charged that “the rule of law is now gravely undermined” due to what it said is an almost 8-year long “charade” and attempts to “trump up charges” against some of its members.
ALP Political Leader and former Prime Minister Lester Bird, and one-time Finance Minister Asot Michael have been identified as persons of interest in the Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Company Ltd (IHI) Japan debt settlement US $14 million dollar investigation.
The investigation dates back to the 1990s when it is alleged millions of dollars were funnelled into the pockets of a number of individuals, masked as loan repayment for the desalination plant constructed here with the loan from IHI.