Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan believes he has caught the UWP Opposition leader spreading untruths.
UWP leader and Hon Member of Parliament for the Marigot Constituency, Lennox Linton, has inferred that funds from the Citizenship by Investment programme have been diverted for use in election campaigns.
He said to Dominicans in St Maarten this past weekend that they may choose to accept flight tickets because they were purchased with what he says is their money from the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
“If you take the money because you recognize it’s your money that they took from the sale of your passport, you accept it for that reason but you’re coming down with your conscience clear to vote what your god moves you to vote,” he said to his audience.
Several business, financial and legal heads as well as the Hon Finance Minister, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit have spoken on the subject of returns from the CBI Programme.
They all say that aside from application fees which belong to the State, the bulk of the money is accounted between the developer and the applicant and is held in escrow accounts.
The Opposition leader also reportedly insinuates that CBI funds have been used to campaign for the past three elections.
Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan says that is another tall tale.
“He is saying that Prime Minister is using our money, meaning passport money, to fuel the last three cycles of elections; that is 2005, 2009 and 2014 and is going to use it again for this election.
“…Nobody has yet said to me or the people of the country how the money comes out of the Government accounts, escrow accounts and CBI accounts at the National Bank of Dominica. How does the Prime Minister use funding from the CBI Programme for the previous three elections when the CBI programme was set up after the 2014 elections but by the magical swing of his tongue, Linton says [the funds were] applied to the previous three cycles by implication. That’s what he said, again, without evidence,” Astaphan said.
Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan says those statements by the Opposition leader are unfounded, unproven and designed to misinform.