ST. VINCENT: – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has defended the general secretary his Unity Labour Party (ULP), Senator Julian as an accused money launderer said he gave Francis some EC$100, 000 (US$37,000) on behalf of the ULP.
“That’s a dastardly lie; dastardly lie!” Gonsalves told reporters on Monday, Oct. 18.
Anthony “Que Pasa” Gellizeau told the court on Oct. 8 that he gave the money to Francis to help fund ULP campaigns.
Gellizeau was arrested in 2006 and charged for money laundering after law enforcement authorities seized U$1.6 million aboard his yacht.
He spoke of the alleged contributions to ULP campaigns while appearing as a defence witness in a case against Edwardo “E.G.” Lynch. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
Lynch, the host of the opposition New Democratic Party’s (NDP) radio programme on Nice Radio, is charged with making statements likely to cause public fear and alarm.
“I gave him on many occasions – some of them he would call me and tell me to meet him up by the ULP headquarters. That was up at Beachmont. And I would go to the bank, withdraw the money. There were sometimes in twenty thousand, forty thousand dollars donations. It varied, some in twenty, some in thirty, some in forty thousand dollars,” Gellizeau told the court.
But Gonsalves said that he did not believe Gellizeau’s claim, adding, “… people can say all kinds of things in a court room. They can make all kinds of allegations”. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
“And I don’t believe for one moment that he gave the General Secretary of the ULP, Julian Francis any money. I don’t believe it at all. Julian told me that it was not so and I believe Julian. It is a simple question. I mean – now, it is so obviously a lot of political hocus-pocus,” said Gonsalves, a trained lawyer.
He said Gellizeau’s statement came while responding to a question that had “no relevance to the case”.
“But, they want to see if they could give the ULP a black eye. The question is this, would the NDP deny that they have been receiving money from Anthony Gellizeau for their campaign currently? Would they deny that he, Anthony Gellizeau, has been about campaigning on their behalf? Of course, it’s his right. He is a citizen,” Gonsalves said.
Francis had denied, under oath, receiving any money from Gellizeau.
The charges against Lynch stem from his comments that Francis, then a government minister, along with Assistant Commissioner of Police Lenroy Brewster and Gellizeau were on a beach on the night of August 4, 2007.