By: Anthony W Astaphan,S.C.
Lennox Linton the Leader of Dominica’s Opposition went on CBS 60 minutes to demonize the country of Dominica and its citizenship programs. Significantly, Linton never introduced himself as the Leader of a political party or the Opposition. Nor did he indicate his hostility to the programs in Dominica while embracing programs in other OECS States. In any event, his mere presence on 60 Minutes was a betrayal to the Nation. Linton compounded his betrayal by his lies. He said, and led Kroft to believe that our ECP and CBI programs are no different to a mail order sales transaction. Linton knew he lied and it was deliberate. The legislative regime for applications is well published. An application for citizenship can only be made through registered agents. Linton knows this is a fact because he once introduced a Mary Wong to Prime Minister Skerrit to be a registered agent.
More importantly, Linton well knows that every applicant must go through the due diligence process, Dominica has 4 due diligence firms retained for the process, 2 in the USA, 1 in the UK and I in Canada. In addition, applicants are further reviewed after the due diligence process or as part of it by what I may describe as vetting agencies. Also, the regulations require that the fees, payments and investments are paid directly into accounts under the control of public officers. None of this was mentioned by Linton. I have on many occasions questioned Linton’s integrity and high ranking as a pathological liar. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council recently proved me right. But I realized while watching him on 60 Minutes there is more to him. He was happy playing a willing Uncle Tom. He played and danced to the jingle knowing full well that the purpose of the CBS program was to discredit the citizenship programs in the OECS . Linton, who aspires to the Office of Prime Minister, he did so with the full knowledge of the fundamental importance of these programs to the revenues and people of the State of Dominica.
Significantly, Linton appears to be the only dancer selected or willing to participate in this betrayal of land and people from the ranks of the opposition forces in the OECS. No other opposition member in Antigua or St. Kitts appeared on the program. I am sure Kroft tried. Linton’s willingness to serve a hostile agenda was such that he flew to Antigua to accommodate CBS and deliver his poisoned lies. I therefore must applaud Prime Minister Gaston Brown for fighting back to protect his country ‘s name and reputation while our Uncle Tom danced in the limelight with Kroft and sold us out!
Linton spoke about the alleged sales of diplomatic passports. This had nothing to do with the CBI programs. Consequently, I believe Linton volunteered to play this part to Kroft so he could have his smiling but evil face in on television. But he lied again.
Diplomatic passport lie 1: Linton said that King was granted a diplomatic passport and appointed Ambassador to Bahrain. This was a lie. King was never issued a diplomatic passport as alleged or at all and was never appointed Ambassador to Bahrain. All ties with him were cut over ten years ago.
Diplomatic passport lie 2: Following a Cabinet Decision of June 2011, Government agreed to strengthen Dominica’s presence at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In order for accreditation and immunity to occur, Italy had to consent. Linton however said on 60 Minutes that Francisco Corallo was appointed an Ambassador and granted a diplomatic passport while on Interpol’s most wanted list. This is false. Corallo could never have been appointed Ambassador to the FAO without the consent of Italy. The Dominican Government sought the consent of the Italian Government in or about June 21 2011.
On or about the 16th November 2011 The independent online daily in Italy Lettera 43 reported that the Italian Foreign Ministry had received in recent months a request for an opinion about Corallo’s accreditation as an FAO-ambassador. The ministry gave a negative advice, saying that as the owner of Atlantis, Corallo, is conducting economic activities in Italy and that it is therefore deemed “inappropriate for someone with business interests in our country to enjoy diplomatic immunity.” Significantly, Italy’s refusal to consent to Corallo’s appointment to the FAO had nothing to do with crime or Interpol.
Further, it is a matter of much publication on Google that Corallo was placed on the Interpol’s list in mid to late 2012. Linton therefore lied when he said or suggested Corallo was on Interpol’s list when the Government applied to the Italian Government in early 2011 for consent to his appointment at the FAO when Corallo was placed on Interpol’s list several months later in late 2012.
Diplomatic passport lie 3: Diezani Alison- Madueke was the Head of OPEC. She was also Forbes Magazine Best of Africa Award In leadership. Alison-Maduake was however detained for questioning in the United Kingdom. However, from all reports she has not been charged in the UK. She now resides in London, England, and no charges pending against her. Accordingly, Linton lied when he suggested or implied that at the time the Prime Minister met with her there were matters opening against Mrs Alision-Maduake or that she was charged in the United Kingdom.
More Lies on diplomatic passports: Linton lied when told Kroft on 60 Minutes that the Prime Minister never answers questions on or discusses the matter of diplomatic passports. In 2009 and 2012 the names of all diplomatic passport holders and postings were disclosed in the Parliament. On November 21, 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a detailed public release on the Corallo matter. (See http://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/politics/the-establishment-of-a-permanent-mission-of-dominica-to-the-fao/). Also, there is now on the Government of Dominica’s website an official, release in relation to the Diezani Alison-Madueke matter.(See http://www.opm.gov.dm/?p=1611). This was delivered to the Nation by the Prime Minister on December 20, 2015. In 2005 or thereabouts, the Prime Minister informed the Nation that all links with King were severed.
In view of these public explanations how does someone seeking the highest public office lie so freely?
The worse lie on diplomatic passports: Linton’s lies continued. Linton gave CBS and Kroft the distinct impression that diplomatic passports were in fact sold under the table. CBS provided no evidence other than Linton. Therefore. one would assume that Linton had or would have had the evidence to provide for this extraordinary lie he flushed on the world. However, Linton had, and has, no evidence whatsoever to back up this lie. That this is the case is fully supported by his interview with Huffington Post in 2015. During this interview in 2015 Linton was specifically asked to provide the evidence of the alleged sales of diplomatic passports. The following is the questions asked by HP and Linton’s answers.
EXCERPTS FROM LINTON’S 2015 HUFFINGTON POST INTERVIEW
“Q: Why this focus on diplomatic passports?
The diplomatic passport selling business is different from the Citizenship by Investment programme. This money is not going into the treasury, it’s going into the pockets of corrupt officials. People are purchasing [diplomatic] passports and diplomatic immunity. Alison [disgraced former Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke] bought a diplomatic passport and bought a position. She’s done nothing with that position [of “Trade and Investment Commissioner for Dominica”] that I’m aware of, we didn’t even know about this until five months later [when police in London arrested her]. It was the same with [Francesco] Corallo in Italy, when police came to arrest him, he claimed diplomatic immunity. We only ever learn about who gets our diplomatic passports afterwards, through Google.
The evidence is clear as daylight that our government has been selling diplomatic passports to crooks and criminals.
Q: I haven’t seen any evidence yet. Where is the evidence that money changed hands?
Alison [Diezani Alison-Madueke] wound up with a diplomatic passport within six days of meeting [the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt] Skerrit. The police found millions in cash in Alison’s house. [Embattled Macau billionaire Ng] Lap Seng said in a U.S. court that he got a diplomatic passport because he had promised to invest twenty million dollars in Dominica. The evidence is circumstantial.
Q: Speaking of evidence, the last thing I heard, [UWP member] Thomas Fontaine and the government were taking each other to court over his allegation that suspected terrorist mastermind Dawood Ibrahim had acquired a Dominican passport. Since then, nothing. What’s happening there?
The government don’t want this court case to move forward. They have too much to hide.
Q: But where is the evidence that Dawood Ibrahim got a Dominican passport?
My understanding is that Thomas Fontaine received a tip-off.”
These are the answers which Linton said in 2015 represented his’ evidence’ of the sale of diplomatic passports. But it was not evidence, it was self-serving hogwash!. There are no facts and Linton had none. Nevertheless, it is this self-serving hogwash Linton carried on 60 Minutes to continue his sabotage of the CBI programs, and treacherous betrayal of this country and its people. Linton did so with the full knowledge that the financial stability of Dominica is highly dependent on a viable CBI program. He was in Parliament when the Prime Minister spoke of the 271 million collected under the CBI program last year, and the considerable gains made under the CBI program, the monies used after the devastation of TS Erika, and the major hotel and other projects under way. Linton’ s response to this fabulous news and progress was to use the world stage to stab Dominica and Dominicans in the back with the smile of an Uncle Tom satisfied he had done his dirty work. I hope that in return the people of this Land will teach him a political lesson he will never ever forget.
2nd January 2017
Anthony W Astaphan,SC