Daily Archives: May 26, 2007

Barbados Attorney General Makes “Inaccurate” Statement About VECO Bribery Scandal

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It is a sad day when the Attorney General of Barbados makes a statement that is so easily proven to be inaccurate – about such an important issue as the Barbados connections to the VECO bribery scandal.

As some of our readers have noticed, a few of us at Barbados Free Press have been treading lightly around Attorney General Dale Marshall because, frankly, we met him a few years back and liked him. We viewed Dale as a lawyer who was basically hardworking and honest and who always acted with the best interests of his clients at heart. Once we even heard of him working for free to help someone who needed a hand but couldn’t afford a lawyer any more than she could afford food for her little ones. (Can’t say too much more about this or Mr. Marshall might get a clue about who we are.)

I guess that was then.

When Dale entered politics we wondered how long he would last – him being an honest type and all that.

Now we’re wondering if Dale won’t do just fine in politics as he seems to be fitting in real well with his contemporaries.

Unfortunately.

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Was Dale Marshall Thinking Of A U.S. Hamburger Chain When He Briefed The Media?

In today’s Nation News, Attorney General Dale Marshall tells Barbados that VECO USA can keep the prison contract because VECO company officials have assured him that they never offered one of the accused, Pete Kott, a job as warden at Dodds in exchange for his support of a proposed gas pipeline and a tax bill.

Said Attorney General Marshall…

“I have been assured by Veco that they have always understood that the appointment of any individual to work in the Civil Service in Barbados was a matter for the Government of Barbados.

“They have assured me they never made any representation to any individual that they could or would be posted to Barbados to work as a prison warden or any post in the Government of Barbados,” (See The Nation News Veco USA To Keep Prison Contract)

So VECO says they never did it and that is good enough for Dale Marshall.

I guess the Attorney General of Barbados never spoke to the U.S. FBI about this. I guess he never read any of the hundred online news articles that indicate TAPE RECORDINGS EXIST of the accused and VECO officials discussing the matter of the Barbados warden’s post for the accused.

I guess the Attorney General of Barbados never even read The Nation News article Alaskans Know Of Barbados where Tony Best again repeats that tape recordings exist of the discussion between the accused and VECO officials about the warden’s job in Barbados…

Contained in the indictment against the former lawmakers are transcripts of telephone conversations between the elected officials and Veco executives. In one of them Kott is heard explicitly linking his support of the pipeline and the version of the PPT that VECO wanted approved to the job in Barbados.

“You’ll get your gas line, the governor gets his bill and I’ll get my job in Barbados,” he was heard telling company executives in a teleconference.

… from the Nation News (link here)

That’s Pretty Poor Dale

Dale, you have to correct this right away. You are relatively new with the bunch of thieves that you work with and I hope that you had nothing to do with any of the nonsense that we all know is happening at the prison construction site. You would be wise to not put your reputation on the line to defend corrupt VECO and corrupt officials in Barbados.

Unless, of course, you are already in way too deep.

In which case I say “another good man corrupted by a system that has no rules”.

Damned shame.

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Royal Navy’s Largest Warship Visits Barbados – Served In Iraq War

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I forgot to post this two days ago. Visit the ship’s website here.

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How Much Cash Did Corrupt VECO USA Executives Provide To Barbados Labour Party As “Campaign Donations” ?

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Attorney-General Says Veco Has Been “At All Times Entirely Above Board” With All Barbados Work

Barbados Attorney-General Dale Marshall made some very definitive statements yesterday about VECO’s prison contract – but he sounded suspiciously like a man with a fire hose trying to put out a cane field blaze before it gets out of control. As Barbados Free Press indicated when we broke the story in Barbados…

On Friday, May 4, 2007, American politicians and businessmen were indicted in a bribery scheme involving VECO Corporation, a company that is heavily involved with the Barbados government and various Barbados politicians and business people. VECO’s Barbados projects include the oil terminal and pipeline, and the building of the new prison.

At least one of the arrested Alaska politicians was secretly recorded by the FBI in conversations where he spoke about receiving a position with VECO’s Barbados prison operations. As there are hundreds of hours of police recordings, there is no doubt that further Barbados revelations will occur at the trial…

… The company has often been criticized for having a corporate culture of unethical behaviour, bribes and undermining democracy. (Obviously, the American Federal Bureau of Investigation would probably agree with that statement.)

If VECO Corporation has acted unethically on their home turf of Alaska, one has to wonder what they might be guilty of in a foreign country like Barbados.

… from our story BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Politicians Indicted For Taking/Arranging Bribes In VECO Scandal – Involves New Barbados Prison

How unlike an experienced politician like Dale Marshall to not give himself any wiggle room at all. He says that everything VECO ever did for the Government of Barbados was “above board”. That is quite a conclusion considering that Mr. Marshall launched no investigation, asked for no assistance from the police and interviewed no witnesses.

The FBI sure didn’t tell Dale Marshall that everything in Barbados was “above board” !

Dale Marshall also says that VECO company officials “have assured me they never made any representation to any individual that they could or would be posted to Barbados to work as a prison warden or any post in the Government of Barbados,”

That is quite a statement – considering that the FBI made tape recordings of phone conversations where an American politician talked about exactly those assurances with VECO executives.

So where is Dale Marshall going with this? Aha! We can see it now…

The Case Is Closed As Far As Dale Marshall Is Concerned

Marshall and his government have to put out this fire quickly before it grows and the best way of doing that is to point out that the CEO of VECO has pleaded guilty and gone to jail. “See folks? It’s all over! Doesn’t involve Barbados. Nothing to see here… move along. Move along.”

Here’s what Dodging Dale said…

“The issues in relation to bribery and corruption are issues which are being dealt with by a United States court. The chief executive officer of the company [Bill J. Allen] has pleaded guilty to bribery charges and resigned his position.

“But I am satisfied that the company’s relationship with Barbados and the work they are doing for the Government of Barbados has at all times been entirely above board, and at no time is there any hint of a scandal in relation to the contracting of that company for the work on the prison or other work that they have previously done for the Barbados Government,”

… from The Nation News (link here

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Not So Fast, Mr. Attorney General!

The founder and CEO of VECO, Bill J. Allen, pleaded guilty to save his son from going to jail. The FBI has hundreds of hours of investigations and phone taps and Mr. Allen Sr. has pledged to cooperate with further inquiries. VECO gave millions in “campaign donations” to the Bush Republicans – and the Democrats are rising in power so it is a little premature to declare everything is over, don’t you think Mr. Marshall?

Answer These Questions Publicly, Dodging Dale…

1/ How much money did VECO give to the BLP or to party members “campaign donations” in the last 12 years?

2/ Did any of those “campaign donations” find their way into the personal bank accounts of any BLP members?

3/ What gifts were received from VECO by government members or their relatives?

4/ How many subcontractors at the jail project and the oil terminal project are related to or otherwise associated with members of the Barbados Government?

5/ Does or did VECO employ any political lobbyists in Barbados and are any of them related in any way to members of government?

6/ Does or did VECO employ any consultants in Barbados and are any of them related in any way to members of government?

Those questions will do for a start, Mr. Attorney General, but maybe some of our readers have additional questions.

This VECO bribery scandal isn’t over, Mr. Marshall. Not by a long shot…

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More Troubles At Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital – This Time Haematology Equipment, Next Time… Who Knows?

Are We Or Are We Not A Sovereign Nation?

One would think that as the only real hospital in Barbados, the government would ensure that the QEW maintains redundancies in equipment and personnel. After all, when it gets right down to it, our Queen Elizabeth Hospital is not just the primary health care facility – it is the only hospital in the country.

Just last month the only echocardiogram machine at the QEW was broken for a couple of weeks and may have contributed to the death of at least one patient. (BFP article here)

In February we reported about a series of deaths in the hospital waiting room were patients died during lengthy delays waiting for initial treatment. (One story told of a man waiting 24 hours to be examined!)

Last December we told you how Barbados has over 300 Cataract patients waiting for surgery. (Too bad they can’t see those new flyovers!)

Now the blood testing lab is shut down because the haematology equipment is malfunctioning…

Don’t Worry – The Hospital’s Public Relations Firm Is On It!

Yup… we are not to worry about this latest little problem at the QEH because the hospital’s Public Relations firm has issued a press release.

Everything gonna be fine ‘o fine. Yesssir!

Who Are “JER Associates” ?

The PR firm J.E.R. Associates Ltd. is often seen handling situations for the hospital, sometimes with their spokesperson identified as President Ricardo Blackman. Blackman has also handled other situations – for instance representing Larsen & Toubro (L&T) during controversy over recruiting 14 illegal workers for the Kensington Oval Redevelopment Project.

We’re curious. Is Mr. Blackman or JER closely associated with anyone in government or at the hospital?

We found a number of bio entries for him on the web…. like this one:

Ricardo Blackman, President & International Chairman, heads our client service team. A full member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a founder member of the Barbados Association of Public Relations Practitioners (BAPRP), Ricardo is one of the Caribbean’s most experienced and respected public relations practitioners. The only Caribbean PR Practitioner to be included in the 1999 International “Who’s Who” of professionals, he is the first West Indian to be elected an Accredited Member of the prestigious Counselors Academy of the PRSA, and is the only Barbadian member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA). Before founding JER, he worked as a senior journalist with the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados and the BBC World Service and BBC Caribbean Service in London.

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Barbados Guide To Judicial Conduct “Not Available To Ordinary Public” – But It Doesn’t Matter, It Doesn’t Really Exist Anyway

We Discover That Barbados Has No Rules Governing The Conduct Of Judges

About a year ago the Judicial Council of Barbados announced with much fanfare that it had approved and published a Guide To Judicial Conduct. With that little bit of publicity successfully taken care of – what do you think the Judicial Council did for their next step?

If you guessed “Make sure the public never gets their hands on a copy of the Guide To Judicial Conduct” – you win the prize!

What hogwash these optional (or maybe we should say ‘fictional’) rules of conduct for Judges have turned out to be, because as we discovered:

Barbados doesn’t have any rules governing the conduct of Judges. This “guide” has about as much weight in law as fish bait.

The Chief Justice and the other crones still make it up as they go along and this fictional “Guide To Judicial Conduct” was obviously nothing more than a publicity stunt.

Check It Out For Yourself

First step… try and get a copy of the “Guide”. Let’s try online… nope. Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!

Ok, now try and get your hands on a dead-tree version.

Go ahead… call the judges’ chambers, Bar Association – call the office of the Chief Justice. Call anyone you like.

We did and were told that the Guide To Judicial Conduct is (quote) “not available to the ordinary public”.

Shoulda known! This IS Barbados my friends and there are certain types of materials that the plantation masters just don’t allow the ordinary folks to have knowledge about.

The Only “Judicial Conduct” Reference Bajans Are Allowed Is One Newspaper Article

Everything that the citizens of Barbados are allowed to know about any guidelines or rules governing the conduct of their Judges is contained in one newspaper article published on July 9, 2006 in that government outlet The Nation News.

New Guide For Judges quotes Chief Justice Sir David Simmons stating that the guidelines are ethical, not legal rules, hence they are not absolute.

So there you have it, folks. Whatever these secret rules are – they are nothing in law.

Welcome to Barbados – where the elites in all sectors of our society ARE the law. The elites simply find it much more convenient to be able to make it up as they go along.

Best not to give the rabble any legally enforceable standards for conflicts of interest, integrity or transparency. Freedom of Information legislation? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!

Wouldn’t want the “ordinary public” to get any uppity ideas about holding any elected or appointed public official accountable for anything.

Welcome to Zimbabwe West

New guide for judges
Published on: 7/9/06.

BY ANTOINETTE CONNELL

JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES have been given a list of written dos and don’ts that include staying clear of political parties and a caution about fraternal bodies.

Among other things, the judicial officers must avoid commenting on certain issues and must behave in such a manner that it does not affect people’s faith in the integrity of the judiciary.

In a first such move, a Guide To Judicial Conduct was approved and published by the Judicial Council of Barbados, giving an outline of what is proper behaviour.

Noted jurist, Sir Frederick Smith, a former Attorney-General and Justice of Appeal, said yesterday that the publishing of the manual was important.

“The behaviour of judges and magistrates is vital to maintaining law and order. It is important that from time to time the head of the judiciary lay down rules for judges and magistrates,” he said.

Under the heading “propriety”, it states that a judge should refrain from: membership of political parties, political fund-raising and functions, contributing to political parties and campaigns, and publicly taking part in controversial discussions that are partisan in character.

One guideline states:

“A judge must be sensitive to the fact that fraternal bodies are shrouded in mystery and clothed with a perception of secrecy and of providing unconditional assistance to members in times of need, trouble and distress.

“Persons who are not members of such bodies are likely to conclude that a litigant, belonging to the same fraternal body as a judge, may enjoy an unfair advantage.

“In such circumstances, it would be appropriate for a judge to disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the impartiality of the judge might reasonably be questioned.”

Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, in the introduction, stressed that the guidelines were ethical, not legal rules, hence they were not absolute.

“They describe the high standards with which all judicial officers should be conversant and to which they should aspire,” he wrote.

The guidelines also warn against close personal association with individual lawyers that may give rise to suspicion; or judges presiding over matters where a relative is representing a litigant.

Judges are prohibited from disclosing confidential information acquired in cases of financial dealings. They and their families are not allowed to accept gifts or favours in relation to performing their duties.

However, judges have been given the all-clear to lecture, write, and teach. (from The Nation News link here)

UPDATED – Barbados Underground Talks About The Masonic Connections Of Some Judges

At least, that’s what we think BU is talking about…

“BU is also aware of another occasion where it was whispered that the now retired Judge Leroy Inniss, Alair Shepherd to name an example were “brothers” and therefore open the obvious issues of …well we will not go there yet.” 

As always, there is lots worth reading at Barbados Underground

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