St John’s, October 23… The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party has condemned UPP allegations to the media yesterday (friday, October 22) that former ALP Ministers are to “stand trial” in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in relation to APUA Funding, a wholly owned government company.
The ALP points out that “this is not a criminal matter, it is a civil suit brought by the current Board of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) which is made up entirely of UPP cronies.”
“Anyone can bring a civil suit on any matter”, the ALP said. The Party’s statement added: “In this instance, this civil suit has been in the courts for several years and is part of a series of witch-hunt cases by the UPP regime against former ALP officials using tax payers’ money that should be spent on job creation.”
“The civil suit is even more ludicrous because it has also been brought against two of the most reputable banks in the Caribbean – Bank of Nova Scotia and RBTT – as conspirators with ALP ministers and senior public servants”, the ALP said.
“The UPP regime has also lost a case on this same matter to RBTT in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court earlier this year and that case is a matter of record.”
The ALP statement continued: “Importantly, the case alleges that money was diverted from APUA to APUA Funding for the building of the Market Place and the Abattoir in St John’s among other projects. No where in the case does it suggest that ALP officals were guilty of fraud or misappropriating funds. Indeed, the funds were used for these projects which have been of sustainable benefit to Antigua.”
“The timing of this latest attempt by the UPP to manipulate public opinion is telling. It is linked to a preliminary rulingmade on October 10 by Judge David Harris in the civil case. The UPP chose not to feed the Judege’s ruling to the media until twelve days later when they were under enormous pressure from the public over their refusal to release the report of a Tribunal that investigated a spurious request to remove the Chairman and members of the Electoral Commission”.
“This was clearly a ruse by the UPP to try to deflect the public’s attention from its continuing autocratic behavior. But, it will not work, the people of Antigua and Barbuda are wise to the desperation of the UPP,” the ALP said.