By: Anthony W Astaphan, SC
28th February 2017
Gabriel Christian has become the prime spokesperson for the regime change advocates in Dominica. The platform of Gabriel Christian, which is premised on lies, is;
1. That diplomatic passports are sold;
2. That there is no transparency in the citizenship program and that the program should be stopped until there is a commission of inquiry; and therefore
3. There must be regime change in Dominica with the appointment of an interim administration (which he would have a part in).
Gabriel Christian knows that Diplomatic passports are not sold by Dominica. He also knows the allegation of no transparency with the CIP is complete nonsense. Gabriel knows this to be false as well. The following are indisputable facts;
A. The revenues under the Economic Citizenship Program and Citizenship by Investment programs are
i. Disclosed in every Budget Address and then Estimates laid before the House of Assembly;
ii. Disclosed in the Public accounts of the Government;
iii. Subject to audit;
iv. Subject to review by the Public Accounts Committee chaired by the Leader of the Opposition;
B. Deposited in accounts managed and supervised by senior public officers;
C. The expenditure of funds from the CIP was disclosed in detail by the Prime Minister in the last Budget Address;
D. All applicants for citizenship are subject to due diligence;
E. The names of all persons granted citizenship are published in the Gazette
Armed with access to this public information, Gabriel Christian has nevertheless collaborated with the local cabalists of the UWP, and foreign henchmen or mercenaries to fuel the falsehood that diplomatic passports were being sold by the Prime Minister and Government. His intention, in my view is clear, to destroy the image of Dominica in the international community for the sole purposes of self-aggrandizement, and citing regime change for self-aggrandizement. Regime change is what extremists are about. If you are in any doubt, ask those who remember about PJ and the KKK.
Gabriel also knows that he, Linton and the UWP have no evidence to support their falsehood and their lies about the sale of diplomatic passports. As an attorney and officer of the court I have no doubt he would have asked Fontaine and Linton for their evidence to support their allegations of the sale of diplomatic passports. I have equally no doubt that they showed him nothing because they have nothing. Yet Gabriel Christian maligned the Prime Minister and country for weeks with vague sensational sounding allegations of diplomatic sales and corruption. His emphasis was always his Yankee accent.
Gabriel embarked on this smear campaign only a couple years after he submitted a proposal and Memorandum of Understanding to the Government in 2014 for the exclusive control of the ECP.
Gabriel Christian actually prepared, or had a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) prepared, for the Government’s approval. The Preamble of this MOU declared
‘This new approach, which we title here as Citizenship by Economic Development Program (CEDP), allows for a Participant/Subscriber in a to-be-established Economic Development Fund (EDF) to gain Dominican citizenship coincident with investing a sum certain in designated development and infrastructure projects that create employment, transfer skills and technology in such sectors as: industry, real estate/resort development, education institutions, data-processing technology, communications, agriculture and agri-business, education and training, or similar development oriented projects with positive social impact on- island.’
Options A and B of this MOU contained these important words
“All standard and customary character, criminal and other background checks shall apply as in the fashion required by the existing ECP.”
The Options A and B proposed to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and which were drafted or vetted by Gabriel Christian, recognized that due diligence checks in fact existed. This was the state of Christian’s mind in 2014. Today, Gabriel attacks the CIP as wholly unregulated.
Despite his weekly, if not daily rantings against the Prime Minister, Gabriel Christian said not a word about facts, evidence, or the investigations or inquiries made by him. You would have thought the first lesson of any Law 101 class, even if taught in the back waters of Louisiana, would start with the difference between fact and fiction, and that allegations must be proved by verifiable fact, and not suspicion however low or high. Gabriel carries a Doctorate in law. This created in my mind some sense of rational thought and objectivity. But Gabriel proved me wrong. Gabriel shredded his legal training, and replaced it with naked personal venom, and scandalous lies about Roosevelt Skerrit and the Government. It mattered not that Christian had first written Prime Minister Charles for exclusivity over all geothermal activity in Dominica. It certainly did not matter that he emailed and called Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit multiple times between 2004 and 2014 beseeching him for concessions for televisions, radios, 100 green houses, a chocolate factory, diplomatic passports for friends or clients, and exclusive control of the Economic Citizenship Program.
In these commercial matters in which Gabriel expected to profit, he had all the time in the world to communicate with Roosevelt Skerrit. If he could not get the Prime Minister directly, he would communicate with Ambassador Nanthan and others. However Gabriel’s courtesies ended when it became transparent he would not get all that he had asked from Skerrit. Like the Shakespearean woman scorned, Gabriel Christian remained at a distance in the United States and jumped on the UWP charade led by Linton and Fontaine, men whom I have no doubt he has nothing but contempt for, and unleashed his fury against man and country.
In the matter involving the financial affairs of the Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences (DAAS) Gabriel viewed Fontaine as dishonest and threatened him with prosecution. He had clear evidence of financial misconduct by Thompson Fontaine as Treasurer of the DAAS, yet he never called for a Commission of Inquiry, neither did he report Thompson to the IMF (his then employers) or to law enforcement in the United States. To Gabriel Christian, Linton was no more than an uneducated bully. However the UWP political train is now a convenient charade for Gabriel, and he jumped head first into it. As far he was concerned Skerrit must go. He joined hands, if not the same choir sheet, with not only the most talented liars in our Nation, Linton and Fontaine, but the likes of an ex con Rijock, and the arrogant ethnocentric extremist Gregory R Copley.
Gabriel Christian once touted himself as a proud Pan Africanist and Nationalist; right now however Gabriel has embraced the use of external right wing white faces in this regime change theme of his. The one time advocate of the free will of the people, now joins forces with radical right wing and ultra conservative white wing political elements and now seeks regime change in Dominica outside of the democratic process.
In all of this mudslinging, Gabriel did not stop to ask the Prime Minister a single question whether the allegations of payment or corruption being made against him were true or not. Indeed, when the Prime Minister wrote him to deny the allegations, Gabriel Christian saw it fit to ride his high horse with unfettered arrogance and contempt.
Gabriel Christian’s façade was soon to be exposed. He appeared recently as a guest on a CaribnationT interview. In the course of his smears on Prime Minister and country Gabriel Christian was forced by the facts to say the following:
“… but when we ask them to do a commission of inquiry to really get to the meat of the matter, because we believe it will show there were in fact payments; that’s our high suspicion. We do not have the exact co-relationship, although there is a letter going around that says one gentleman in Europe actually offered $100,000 to the Skerrit Administration …” (hyperlink the statement)
Let’s recap. Gabriel relies on ‘our’, high suspicion. I do not know who ‘our’ refers to, but I know ‘high suspicion’ is sophisticated American lingo for gossip, mepuis and rumour-mongering. I know that ‘We do not have the exact co-relationship’ means all we have in our boudoirs and cupboards are lies and no fact evidence. I know what “offered’” means; nothing unless accepted by the other side. All that Christian alleged he has to support his smear campaign is an “offer.” He seems to have forgotten his many “ offers” to the Prime Minister which were never accepted by him. Nevertheless, Gabriel Christian’s confession provides the clearest of all possible statements from an attorney at law that he has no evidence whatsoever that Prime Minister or Government is selling diplomatic passports.
Bear in mind too that this Gabriel Christian was accusing the Prime Minister of selling passports to a Chinaman, a Nigerian woman, and Iranian man. Yet, the basis of his ‘high suspicion,’ and demand for a Commission of Inquiry, is an offer (please note, an offer) in a letter from a man in Europe! Not a man in China, Nigeria or Iran. Not one iota of further information. It is this vague and wholly insane and insidious ‘high suspicion’ and letter from Europe, which Gabriel says triggered his lunacy to name and shame our beloved land. There is no morality or purity in such flagrant dishonesty. There has to be an evil or corrupting motive and intent. If for no other reason than that all of his previous allegations were not factual, and were therefore lies.
Lest we forget, Gabriel Christian is an attorney at law. He ought to know the meaning of “evidential facts and particulars.” He knows that an allegation can only be proved by independent and ascertainable facts, and not hot air or horse manure. To make or prove such serious allegations of criminality Gabriel knows that he must have particulars, facts and evidence which must exist, and not be fabricated. However Gabriel Christian was forced to admit that all he has to support his dishonest allegations that diplomatic passports are sold and of corruption is “high suspicion” and a will o’ wisp letter from Europe.
I expect this level of crassness from the Linton’s, Fontaines, Angelo Allens and Clayton Shillingfords of this world. These are men bent out of shape by evil and partisanship. But how on God’s Earth can an attorney at law, and self-professed leader in the Diaspora, call for regime change in Dominica based on “our high suspicion” premised solely on his own subjectivity, and some unidentified European letter. Can Gabriel Christian go to any place in America and speak of this “high suspicion” as evidence of alleged criminality and corruption in America? I think not. Therefore, why would Gabriel act the way he did, and collaborate with foreign extremists like Rijock or Copley? Why would he conceivably go on any media platform, visit every congress man who will see him, or write his malicious machinations and lie about the alleged sales of passports and corruption knowing full well that all he had was this nebulous “high suspicion” and one (1) letter on an “offer”? He knew he had no evidence whatsoever.
There is no question that Gabriel’s recent admission on the CaribnationTV interview tells me he has lied repeatedly about Skerrit and the Government, and is a hypocrite. But what has motivated him? Gabriel is not a certifiable lunatic. He is lucid, and like most humans, has a motive. What therefore is his motive? The lies, venom, tone, and misinformation are all too extreme for me to believe it is love of country. Therefore, is it simply the seeking of glory, a desire to tarnish the land of his birth, or is there a hidden agenda? If yes, is that hidden agenda simply a burning thirst for revenge because he was not able to secure all of the personal financial benefits that he sought from Prime Minister Skerrit?
More on that another time.