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Opposition Leader denies offering diplomatic passport for sale in wake of TV documentary

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Opposition and UWP leader Lennox Linton

Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, has sought to clear the air on allegations made against him in a documentary produced by International TV Network Al Jazeera.

The first part of a documentary, Diplomats For Sale which names Dominica as one of the countries involved in the alleged sale of diplomatic passports, aired yesterday on Al Jazeera.

In Diplomats for Sale, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposes politicians in the Caribbean including Dominica and Grenada willing to accept secret campaign contributions from wealthy foreign businessmen in exchange for diplomatic passports.

In Dominica, members of both the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) and opposition United Workers Party (UWP) appear willing to receive money in return for a political post, allegations the leaders of both parties strongly deny.

Undercover filming also revealed how former Dominican Prime Minister, Oliver Seraphin, offered to broker a secret deal to hand out an ambassadorship in Asia for fees totalling $470,000.

The document also mentioned Attorney, David Bruney and Seraphin appearing as key in direct involvement with the opposition leader who is campaigning on a platform of anti-corruption.

However, Linton said during a live interview on Q-95 Radio on Tuesday that he has not spoken to or seen Oliver Seraphin in more than 5 years, nor has he had any conversation with Bruney to sell diplomatic passports, ambassadorships, or diplomatic immunity to anybody.

“I have had no discussions with Oliver Seraphin. As a matter of fact, I have not spoken to or seen, Oliver Seraphin in more than 5 years,” he revealed. “I didn’t even know he was in Dominica. We have had absolutely no conversation about campaign financing, far less campaign finance money in exchange for diplomatic passports or diplomatic immunity.”

“Understand what you just saw in the Al Jazeera documentary. You saw a number of politicians being accused of involvement in one way or the other and at the backend of the programme, you saw the Al Jazeera report seeking to tie Lennox Linton into a deal to selling diplomatic passports,” Linton explained. “It never happened.”

He further explained that he spoke to David Bruney about a state asset recovery program that he [Linton] is committed to as the leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) after getting into government.

He said the extent which David as a legal person, using his network, could identify for the party a couple of legal people with international experience, including that of finance, money laundering and so on, “ to help us find the assets of the state of Dominica that have been deposited around the world.”

“That, in essence, was the substance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that I signed with David Bruney,” he revealed. “As Al Jazeera has noted it has absolutely nothing to do with the exchange of money for diplomatic immunity, diplomatic passports or ambassadorships. They have said that in the story.”

Linton went on to say that he cannot claim any responsibility for what went down between Seraphine and Bruney.

“I can only tell you what went down between David Bruney and myself and the substance and truth of the document that Al Jazeera claims to have,” he remarked.

He said further that Al Jazeera also claims that there is a document indicating that their man, the Al Jazeera man, also has a document indicating an Ambassadorship will be conferred after the election, should he become Prime Minister.

“That particular potential Ambassador is an Al Jazeera plant who spoke to me, who sent me WhatsApp messages about his conversations or contacts with David Bruney,” Linton stated. “Why was it not possible for Al Jazeera to use the WhatsApp chat messages their plant, the Al Jazeera undercover agents sent to my phone and the single conversation that we have, it had absolutely nothing to do with any diplomatic passport, or any ambassadorship or any diplomatic immunity in exchange for money, nothing.”

He also made it clear that at no time in the past, now or there will ever be an occasion in the future where, “ Lennox Linton will offer ambassadorships, diplomatic passports or diplomatic immunity for sale to anybody because fundamentally I think it’s wrong.”

“I think it’s a violation to the United Nations Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations of 1961.”

Linton mentioned also that he believes the practice of selling diplomatic immunity, ambassadorships, and diplomatic passports represents a crime against humanity.

Meantime, Linton said this is not a 2019 election campaign issue.

“This is a matter that has been with us for a number of years,” he stressed. “We saw in the documentary the extent to which Alireza Monfared who now owes US$1.3 billion to the state of Iran that Iran claims he stole from them, we see all the evidence in that documentary.”

Linton stressed that if his party wins, it will be the first government in the history of the Caribbean, “within the first 100 days of our administration,” to enact in parliament, an act to prevent the Sale of diplomatic immunity.





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Dominica

Search called off for plane which crashed off Dominica coast

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Part of the undercarriage of the aircraft which was fished out of the sea by some Marigot residents

The search has been called off for the victims of a plane crash which occurred in the sea off Marigot on Sunday 16th February 2020.

Earlier reports indicated that the French-registered aircraft, which was carrying 4 persons, had taken off at about 6:43 pm from the Douglas-Charles Airport destined for Le Raizet Airport in Guadeloupe.

“Investigations continue into that missing plane; the police have recovered some debris but we have not recovered any bodies,” Police Chief Daniel Carbon said at a news conference recently. “The search has been called off.”

Meantime, carbon said no arrests have been made following a recent shooting incident which occurred in Picard, Portsmouth at 11:00 pm on February 4th 2020, resulting in the death of a Chinese national.

The deceased is Zing Jian Yong, a 49-year-old male residing at Picard, Portsmouth.

“We are investigating that matter. We have pursued every lead that we had intensively. We brought in a number of suspects and interviewed them and investigations continue,” Carbon revealed. “We have not made any arrests or charged anyone for this crime.”

The police chief condemned this incident and called on the general public to provide the police with any information or evidence to help to bring the criminal/criminals to justice.

“We have been getting some tips but we have not yet solved it,” he said. “I have a strong feeling that we might solve this crime, but again the information and evidence are out there…there must be somebody who knows what happened, who did it.”





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Dominica

DNO LIVE coverage Carnival Tuesday Parade

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DNO LIVE coverage Carnival Tuesday ParadeLive coverage of the Carnival Tuesday Parade. *Refresh your browser if you are having difficulties viewing the stream* Posted by Dominica News Online on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The post DNO LIVE coverage Carnival Tuesday Parade appeared first on Dominica News Online.





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Dominica

IN PICTURES: Jouvert in Roseau

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IN PICTURES: Jouvert in RoseauPhotos courtesy Jaleel Grove

The post IN PICTURES: Jouvert in Roseau appeared first on Dominica News Online.





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