Trade union representative in the Senate, Rae Roberts has called for the dismissal of Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood over the issue involving U.S sex predator Erik Pedersen who was allowed entry into the country to do business with Grenada Winners Club.
Pedersen was forced to leave the island after THE NEW TODAY newspaper blew his cover as a “Registered Sex Predator” in the United States who was convicted on several occasions for sexual involvement with under-aged girls.
The convict was a key player in Winners Club which opened for business on the island after the company was registered to do business by the law firm owned by the Attorney-General.
Roberts made his call for the sacking of Hood on Friday as he contributed to the debate in the Senate on a move by the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government to withhold the name of foreigners who purchase Grenadian passports under a Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Following are some of the highlights of the address delivered by Sen. Roberts:
Mr. President this ridiculous amendment to the Citizenship by Investment Act, which will prevent the publication of the names of people applying for passports, will legitimise the Government doing business in the dark of the night with such persons – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This is a day of great shame – a day when the government will use it majority to deny the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite information – no wonder the sections in the Electronics Crime Bill to deter free speech.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said it was a mistake to have included the publication of the names of applicants in the original Bill, therefore, absolutely no transparency – true to form, Dr. Michel’s style.
He denies his beloved people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique the wisdom of knowledge. Perhaps he is saying – fellow citizens it’s not in my interest that you become any smarter and wise.
Perhaps we will get to know our new citizens of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique when some are exposed by a foreign government as was the case in Canada.
Surely, some of us didn’t bargain for more of the same old historical problems. Remember, the NNP government sold 900 hundred passports to nationals from the Far East, many of them undesirables and were turned away at a Canadian Port – some of the consequences for Grenadians – Visa restrictions to Canada – credibility problem – and who suffered most – the same poor people the Prime Minister loves.
Where is your conscience members of government? What does it profit a man or a woman to own all the money in Grenada in the dark of the night at the expense of the very poor and the population in general.
Members of government, Ephesian Chapter Five says and I quote ” Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness – rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention things done by them in secret.
Therefore, it says: “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Colleague Senators, Ignore this and you betray your conscience.
Mr. President, our Minister for Foreign Affairs said in this Parliament, “Criminals are not coming into Grenada via the CBI”. Well, if that is the case why introduce this Bill which will facilitate Business in the dark of the night.
Mr. Minister, your words don’t match your action. We are suspicious – this government has a love for money, no matter where it comes from. We have to be deeply concern.
One year in office and already the government has appointed foreign nationals as Ambassadors to Hong Kong and Thailand – and a long list of others.
The Grenadian people have absolutely no knowledge of these diplomats. Hope they are not the government’s agents to market the sale of passports.
Mr. President, People of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique take note – your leaders – the leaders you elected do not want you to know who they are selling passports to.
In the United States, new citizens, whether by Investment or otherwise, take a public oath. Our Prime Minister knows that too well – so then why this Bill?
Clearly, it is all designed to deny the media and you the people the opportunity to scrutinise the characters of the individuals. What a disgrace!!! What a shame!!!
Where is your conscience?
This amendment is a great disservice to you the people. Grenada does not want anymore business people such as the must publicized sex molester who set up shop on the Carenage.
Mr. President, I am calling on the government to sack the Attorney General if his former office did indeed provide legal service to the businessman/sex molester.
In theory, the Attorney General may claim not having anything to do with his former office, however, something smells bad.
People providing legal service say the US$20.000 paid to the AG’s former office is very excessive – the cost is usually around E.C $5000.
I am concerned about the perceived corruption and self serving interest – using insider trading.
Mr. President, this amendment to the CBI to debars publication of the names, as well as deny the public the opportunity to examine our future citizens.
The people can help the CBI identify the undesirables. Mr. President, as the Worker’s representative, I will request a divisional vote on this amendment. Let the Grenadian people see those of us who want our Government led by the Right Honorable Dr. Keith Mitchell do facilitate business in the dark of the night.
Cast your vote in the eyes of the Television and the public to separate the sheep from the goat. I am definitely against this amendment.
Mr. President, when I look at the Committee established by the Government to do business under the CBI, it worries. The Chairman’s spouse is an Agent, the CEO is the spouse of a Parliamentarian, most vulgar and highly unethical. The Minister of Foreign Affairs wife is a CBI agent – it is all in the family.
Equally interesting, if an investigation of the CBI is required and the FIU is assigned, the Chief is the spouse of a Cabinet Minister.
Let me ask this question to you Honourable colleagues – If you want to make an application for Citizenship by Investment under the Programme, who will you choose. Undoubtedly, the spouse of the Chairman of the CBI – they live together.
The St. Kitts programme, our Prime Minister likes to boast about has turned up more crooks and questionable characters than the available rooms in their prison.
Mr. President, I conclude my presentation with a quotation which often inspires me. It says: “When (Mahatma) Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, there was a Professor, whose last name was Peters, who felt animosity for Gandhi, and because Gandhi never lowered his head towards him, their “arguments” were very common.
One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the Professor. The Professor, in his arrogance, said, “Mr Gandhi: you do not understand… a pig and a bird do not sit together to eat,” to which Gandhi replies, “You do not worry Professor, I’ll fly away “, and he went and sat at another table.
Mr. Peters, green rage, decided to take revenge on the next test, but Gandhi responds brilliantly to all questions. Then, Mr. Peters asked him the following question: “Mr Gandhi, if you are walking down the street and find a package, and within it there is a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money; which one will you take?”
Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, “The one with the money, of course.”
Mr. Peters, smiling, said, “I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom, don’t you think?”
“Each one takes what one doesn’t have”, responded Gandhi indifferently.