The New National Party (NNP) of former Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell says legal action is imminent following an outburst from NDC’s Executive member, Vincent Roberts that the “Russian Mafia” is financing the NNP’s Campaign for the 2013 general elections.
Roberts made the allegation, which ignited a level of anger and concern among the NNP rank and file, on the NDC platform during the party’s rally held two weeks ago at the Roy St John Playing Field.
In a telephone interview with The New Today last Tuesday, NNP’s Public Relations Officer, Terrence Forrester, expressed annoyance with the statement as he said his party is presently struggling to meet its financial obligations.
According to the senior party official, the statement made by Roberts is “nothing more than outrageous, slanderous, lies,” adding that it is “slander to the highest degree.
“…It is so outrageous it’s not funny”, quipped Forrester who has emerged as the leading spokesman for NNP in the past decade.
Roberts is associated with the Congress administration in the Office of the Prime Minister as an IT Advisor.
Forrester said the NNP has advised its lawyers on the issue but refrained from saying who will represent the party in the legal action being contemplated against Roberts.
Forrester was adamant that “people can’t make such statements publicly without no knowledge of what he speaks”.
“Who is this Russian Mafia? Forrester questioned. “That is madness … people need to be more responsible”, he said.
During a public meeting of the NDC held Sunday night, Finance Minister Nazim Burke alleged that some Russians met last week at a hotel in the south with former Deputy Prime Minister under the NNP government, Gregory Bowen.
Burke disclosed that information about the Russian/NNP connection will be released to the Grenadian people in due course.
Talks of the Russian involvement with the NNP regime first surfaced in early 2000 surrounding the country’s natural resources.
Deputy Prime Minister Bowen admitted that the Mitchell administration had entered into an arrangement with Global Petroleum, a Russian company and it was granted oil exploration rights in 2005 after the termination of an earlier contract signed with U.S oil tycoon, Jack Grynberg.
The Mitchell administration has publicly acknowledged accepting more than US$2 million from the Russians to help cover legal costs in its battle with Grynberg to terminate their contract.
The statement made by Roberts about the alleged heavy finances from the Russian to the NNP is the first major contentious issue on the political platform between the two main parties as the campaign picks up speed for the February 19 General Election.