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NOW THIS MATTER WITH BEC IS A REAL SCANDAL FOR THE FNM

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tadalafil treatment times;”>Frank Watson, physician former DPM                     cialis times;”>Bradley Roberts, PLP Chair
We are constrained to make the point that if this had been the PLP which was involved in an allegation in which it appears that the close friend and associate of a former minister of the government identified in court documents in the United States only as official number 8  received 300,000 dollars was a facilitator for a contract to BEC for equipment we would not have heard the end of it.  Instead it was buried in the Business Section of the paper and seemed like just by the way.  It was Bradley Roberts, the Chair of the PLP, who sounded the alarm and got some semblance of coverage on the front page of one of the newspapers.  But apart from that it seemed lost in the mix.  The young PLPs on their closed end groups are so vex with the PLP it seems that they are busy cannibalizing one another over  who didn’t get what job and whose salary isn’t what it’s supposed to be when the bigger issue here of proven corruption in the FNM seems to have been missed.  The  question is who was official Number 8?  Mr. Roberts says that Frank Watson, the former FNM Deputy  Prime Minister and the Minister responsible at the time for BEC, should know the answer to that question.  The facts as we know them are these: on 22nd December Alstrom, a French company, pleaded guilty in a US court for bribing foreign officials.  They were fined 772 million dollars.  The Bahamas was named as one of the countries and the documents show it involved the purchase of equipment for the power company BEC.  The  story is that the Board of BEC headed then by Barrie Farrington  and including the present FNM loud mouth Loretta Butler Turner approved unanimously one vendor.  It was changed at the Cabinet level and we know 300,000 dollars passed hands to a facilitator.  The Board Chair at the time Mr. Farrington says no one on the Board took any money for the contract. Should we not follow the money trail?  Does Mr. Watson not have to answer the call?  Where is the outrage about corruption from Mrs. Butler Turner. Is that silence that we hear from the FNM and Mrs

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. Butler Turner, our guardians of moral rectitutde? The press release of the Chair of the PLP appears below:

 
 

 

Watson well aware of foreign bribery charge involving BEC

Bradley B. Roberts

 National Chairman, Progressive Liberal Party

 

The issue of a BEC board member accepting a $300,000 bribe in exchange for a contract is a matter of public record as I have addressed the matter of the problematic diesel generators in the halls of Parliament in May 2003 as the minister with responsibility for BEC.

 

 Having said that, I was very surprised to read in one of the dailies today that former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson denied any knowledge of this very public event and struck at the very heart of governance which is public trust. There was commentary on this matter in Parliament and the serious nature of the allegations had to necessitate discussions at the Cabinet level. Frank Watson was both a Parliamentarian and a senior Cabinet Minister so his denials are extremely surprising to me. Further, the events detailed by court documents took place between 1999 and 2001 when the first Ingraham administration was in its second term.

 

At board members during 2001/2002 were Chairman J. Barrie Farrington, Philip Beneby, Loretta Butler-Turner, Sharon Brown, William McDonald, Brian Moree and Wendy Warren.    

 

After the ruling on the 22nd December, the Department of Justice confirmed the conviction via a press release stating that “Alstom S.A. (Alstom), a French power and transportation company, pleaded guilty today (22nd Dec) and agreed to pay a $772,290,000 fine to resolve charges related to a widespread scheme involving tens of millions of dollars in bribes in countries around the world, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and The Bahamas.”

 

I am of the view that the government of The Bahamas should cause an investigation to be launched into the Alstom (former ADD) deal. The governments of The Bahamas and the US have in place information exchange agreements so the Attorney General can access the relevant facts and identities of the persons involved under the terms and conditions of this exchange agreement.

 

Of particular interest is the fact that the board selected South Korea’s Hanjung unanimously and the FNM Cabinet overturned this decision in favor of Alstom. It would be very interesting to know what additional and compelling information the Ingraham cabinet had in its possession that would have driven them to overturn a unanimous board decision. As the head of the cabinet between 1999 and 2001, I am very interested in what Mr. Hubert Ingraham knows about this contract debacle.