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.