Former Prime Minister and President of the United Workers Party, Edison James has expressed further concern about the way a Christmas morning fire, which destroyed the home of a former magistrate, is being investigated.

The incident occurred last year at the home of Glenworth Emmanuel and his wife while they were still inside the house. It is alleged the fire was the work of arsonists.

James alleges state involvement in the matter, through the Prime Minister, Minister of National Security and other Government agents and called it “unwholesome”.

“The entire Government machinery seems to be engaged in building a ‘firewall’ around persons of interest in this matter. Mr Skerrit himself has commented on this matter, the Minister of National Security, the Minister of Information, the principal legal advisor to the PM, that is almost the entire machinery of the Government, at play, to build a firewall around a person whom Mr. Tony Astaphan presented to the police as someone who could assist them,” James stated.

James believes that the state is on a mission to discredit the confession of one of the other persons of interest in the same matter.

He also infers that the Chief of Police, Cyrille Carrette, is being mendacious when he says that Emmanuel has not been cooperative with the police investigations or that he has not yet given a statement to the police.

Furthermore, James called for the investigation of Earl Grant, yet another person of interest, who is reportedly off island currently, as well as for the police to question Astaphan.

He said, “With respect to one of the persons of interest, [Earl Grant], we heart from him in that most notorious, so-called telephone interview, conducted by ‘Chief of Interviewers’ and main talk-show host, Tony Astaphan, in which he indicated that he was not in hiding and ready to come back. The question is where is he? The public needs answers in this regard. We believe, also, that the police investigating this matter, must question Tony Anthony Astaphan about his role in this.”