Lawyers for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said on Wednesday that they were having difficulty serving former IMF economist Dr Thompson Fontaine with official notice that they were taking legal action against him for alleged statements linking the prime minister to the selling of a Dominican passport to notorious Indian national Darwood Ibrahim.
Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan told state-owned DBS on Wednesday that Washington-based Fontaine had failed to respond to an email asking him to supply a lawyer’s name to allow the documents to be served on him.
“It means that Thompson Fontaine is playing a very dangerous game, he wants to continue his campaign of misinformation not withstanding the fact that the case has been filed against him,” Astaphan said.
He indicated that the prime minister’s lawyers intended to push for an early trial “because of the damage being done to the country by the series of lies being published by Dr Fontaine”.
However Fontaine has countered in a telephone interview on privately owned Q 95 Radio that he hadn’t seen any email from PM Skerrit ‘s lawyers, and that he wasn’t trying to avoid being served notice of any planned legal action against him.
“I have not seen any any email from anybody concerning the lawsuit,” Thompson said, adding that the government’s lawyers know where to find him if they want to serve him with notice of the lawsuit.
He also queried whether Q95, against which legal action is also being taken on the same matter, had been served notice by the prime minister’s lawyers.
The former IMF official indicated that he and other US-based Dominican activists would keep trying to put international pressure on the Skerrit administration about alleged corrupt practices involving the sale of Dominican passports and other perceived breaches.
“We want to see how we can bring international pressure to bear on that situation,” Thompson told Q95.
Thompson said there was a group of Dominicans not in favor of the sale of Dominican passports in the manner in which this was being done and they were determined to bring an end to the programme.
Senior Counsel Astaphan said in announcing the lawsuit last week that the claim filed against Thompson at the High Court in Roseau, concerns the allegation of sales of passports, parallel programmes, and conspiracies with international terrorists.
Thompson has said he is not ruling out filing a counter-suit against the prime minister.
He indicated that himself and other activists would be holding a press conference this coming Saturday in Washington to address the matter.