Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton has accused hotelier Sam Raphael of ‘lying through his teeth,’ saying he has not produced evidence that the United Workers Party (UWP) was involved in the alleged sale of diplomatic passports.
The latest salvo from Linton was delivered on Q95’s Talk on the Block on Tuesday afternoon on a matter that has been a topic of much discussion in Dominica in the past weeks.
Linton had asked Raphael to produce evidence after Raphael dropped a bombshell recently saying the UWP is guilty of the very thing it has been accusing the Dominica Labour Party (DLP)-led government of doing, that is, selling diplomatic passports. (The government has denied it is in the business of selling diplomatic passports).
On Tuesday, July 11, Raphael released a statement which he said contained the evidence that Linton had asked for. He said there were no MOUs of the alleged diplomatic passport sales to six individuals in Switzerland, which he described as an “under the table transaction” however, there were wire transfers and checks which “comprised prominent financial records that cannot be refuted.”
But Linton was not impressed, saying they did nothing in terms of the type of evidence he had demanded.
“I made the call for evidence, by which I mean a body of truth, a body of fact that can validate beliefs or proposition or statements that people are making,” he stated. “I was not querying whether Sam Raphael had received money on the behalf of the UWP because I have been reliably informed that he did receive money on the behalf of the UWP.”
He added, “And so this rattling off of account numbers and amounts received over periods and so on did nothing for me in terms of the evidence that I requested because I did not dispute, nor that the people in the party I spoke to dispute, that he received money for and on behalf of the party.”
Linton said the question that has to be asked is, what was the money for?
“He (Raphael) wants the people of Dominica to accept on his say-so that it was for diplomatic passports but I have not heard that from the other people that he supposedly involved within the party at the time,” he stated. “Who do I believe? Sam Raphael, who is obviously lying through his teeth for favours from (Prime Minister Roosevelt) Skerrit right now, trying to destroy the political opposition in order for him to get his monies to build Jungle Bay at Morne Acouma, to build his cottages and his villas and to sell them and to make his money?”
Linton said it appears that Raphael had no problems with the UWP in the past but all of a sudden has a problem with the party in 2017.
“He had no issue with what he claims he did then, in all of the years, that has gone by since 2005, you are only now coming to a recognition that what you were doing or what you claimed you were doing at the time was wrong?” he stated.
He stated that the other people that Raphael claimed he worked with have denied that they were involved.
“That is why I wanted to see what I asked for,” Linton said. “Evidence. Not Sam say-so because there is nothing that Sam Raphael can say that I will believe because as far as I am concerned, he had established his downright dishonesty and he has established the fact that he is prepared to do anything at all to gain the favour of Roosevelt Skerrit in ensuring that he will have passport money to build the new Jungle Bay at Morne Acouma.”
The Opposition Leader went on to say that Raphael had in fact confirmed in his statement that the UWP did not sell any diplomatic passport.
“As a matter of fact he has confirmed today, in his statement today, that the UWP did not sell any diplomatic passports, he has confirmed that straight and plain but he also telling you at the same time I have my politics to play, I have a political party and somebody I don’t like, to destroy.”