Grenada Prime Minister Being Sued In New York, USA For Corrupt Activities

barbados-election-bribe.jpg

Million Dollar Corrupt Payment Alleged

It looks like Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur isn’t the only Caribbean Head Of State being sued in a foreign court. (See BFP’s Nelson Barbados Group Ltd Against Prime Minister Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons, David Shorey And Many Others)

I don’t know what the laws are in Grenada, but in Barbados the Prime Minister can take any amount of money from anyone as a “campaign donation”, then deposit it in his personal bank account – and there is no law against it and no law forcing him to account for the money.

Golly, I wonder if Owen Arthur has ever been to Switzerland?

Mitchell: USA Has No Jurisdiction Over Me

NEW YORK, USA, August 15, 2007 – The New York-based attorneys for Grenada Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell, and his wife Marietta, are calling for a June lawsuit filed against the first couple to be dismissed.

The Mitchells’ attorneys responded on August 10 to the lawsuit brought against Eric Reisteiner and the Mitchells by Charles Howland, of South Dartmouth, MA, which claims that the Prime Minister received US$1 million from Resteiner, a German businessman, in exchange for a diplomatic passport.

The lawsuit alleges that Resteiner defrauded him and 49 others out of more than US$30 million. Howland, in a copy of the lawsuit obtained by HBN, alleges that the exact amount of money he was scammed out of was US$2.5m and that US$1m of that was “delivered” by Resteiner to the Mitchells.

Resteiner is currently serving an 87 month prison sentence in Rhode Island for fraud.

He also alleges that they did “knowingly shared in the spoils of an enormous pattern of fraud perpetrated by Resteiner on the plaintiff”.

In their response, according to court papers obtained by HBN, the Mitchells contend that the lawsuit is “bogus” and that it should be thrown out because “the head of state immunity doctrine” prevents such action unless immunity has been waived by a Grenada or US statute.

The Mitchells attorneys also argue that the court has no jurisdiction over the Mitchells since they do not live in the USA even though they own property in New York. The responding action also seeks to have any action against Mrs Mitchell dismissed, asserting that she cannot be held liable for any alleged actions of her husband by mere association.

Attorney Jab Charles Johnson of the office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, also claim that since the alleged bribe took place in Switzerland, then the New York court has no jurisdiction over the case.

The Mitchells are also urging a dismissal as well as any “other further relief” that the Court may deem appropriate.

Howland, who said he was a creditor of Resteiner, is demanding a jury trial and judgment for damages, all costs, including attorneyis fees and any additional “relief”.

The lawsuit is based on testimony from Timothy Bass, a former director of security for Resteiner who said he secretly videotaped the allegedly bribery in Switzerland.

Prime Minister Mitchell has consistently said that he has done nothing wrong. A one-man Commission of Inquiry, established in August 2004 to investigate the allegations was canned after Hurricane Ivan.

A hearing in the case is set for October 3rd in a Brooklyn Court before Chief Magistrate Steven M. Gold.

Read the original at Hardbeatnews.com or the mirror at Caribbean 360

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

6 responses to “Grenada Prime Minister Being Sued In New York, USA For Corrupt Activities

  1. Pingback: Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons Wanted To Be… « Barbados Free Press

  2. Pogo

    Leaders of countries everywhere now know that there is no place to hide anymore so they better shape up or their past will catch up.

  3. J. Payne

    He should have implicated “The Crown” in this too. Grenada is a Commonwealth Realm. If he named the Queen I BET you action would get moving on this. The Queen is the head of state.

  4. Negrocrat

    HA! The have caught with Owen’s best friend at last? Maybe he and Owen will end up in the same place in their retirement because they will both be thrown out unceremoniously at next elections.

  5. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados, Grenada: PM Lawsuit

  6. Yardbroom

    The case against Grenada’s Prime Minister Mr. Keith Mitchell, his wife Marietta and Eric Reisteiner, are at the moment only allegations, and as such will only be proved or disproved in a Court of Law, if that opportunity is afforded, until then of course they are not guilty.

    However, some very interesting aspects of the allegations, and the proposed defence, are worthy of note.

    The Mitchells Attorneys contend that the lawsuit is “bogus” and should be thrown out because ” the head of state immunity doctrine” prevents such action unless immunity has been waived by Grenada or US Statute.”

    Their Attorneys also claim since the alledged bribe took place in Switzerland, then the New York Court has no jurisdiction over the case.

    I had hoped a statement that the allegations have no foundation, and will be defended with the utmost vigour by my clients, would have been made. I wonder if the Lawsuit, which is based on testimony from Timothy Bass, a former director of security for Resteiner, who said he secretly videotaped the alleged bribery in Switzerland, has accounted for a less than vigorous rebuttal by the Mitchell’s Attorneys.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Mitchell and other politicians they – politicians – are often tried in the Court of Public Opinion, and despite whatever the berobed gentlemen of the Court might have to say, the General Public will always have the last call.

    May I venture to suggest, the Mitchells will not sleep easy in their beds tonight.