KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 28, IWN – There is a “professional gentleman” who is prepared to say publicly that he saw a video in which Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, reportedly spoke of investor Dave Ames having gone to the office of the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves with a suitcase of money and left without it, Gonsalves says.
Eustace has denied making the allegation and has said BBC journalist Paul Kenyon put the allegation to him during an interview.
Eustace’s response, Gonsalves said at a press conference on Monday, led him to telephone “the same professional gentleman who had first of all been my source, that he was present on Wednesday evening at the hotel of Mr. Kenyon and saw the video.”
Gonsalves recounted at the press conference the conversation he had with the “professional gentleman” after Eustace accused the Prime Minister of being a “liar”.
Gonsalves spoke of his conversation with the “professional gentleman” as follows:
“… I said, ‘Could you have been mistaken (about the video)? He said, ‘Prime Minister, I know what I saw and I know what I heard.’ He said, ‘The video was on an iPad and I saw it and I heard it.’
“Now, I am not saying that Mr. Eustace is a liar. … I am just reporting to me what my source told me. … I asked him, I said to him, ‘If the occasion arises for you to go public, would you say publicly what you are saying to me?’
“He said, ‘Prime Minister, I would because I don’t like what they — he just said they — are trying to do to you.’ And I thank him. “He also said to me that it appeared to him that it was an iPad because it was easy for the possessor of this tape on the iPad to hawk it around to seek confirmation of this allegation, this ridiculous allegation about the receipt of money by me from Mr. Ames.
“So, he was somebody to whom it was shown for confirmation. And he told Mr. Kenyon, he said, ‘This is nonsense.’ He said, ‘I chuckled.’ He said, ‘This is so highly implausible.’ He said, ‘Why would the Prime Minister–’ He said, ‘Mr. Ames won’t have to give the Prime Minister money.’ He said, ‘On the contrary, this is the first big resort in the country and the Prime Minister would shower Mr. Ames and such investors with concessions. Not Ames would give us money.’
“So, I am telling you what this gentleman, who is a professional, said to me after I called him on Wednesday before I left Haiti.
“He also told me that he was quite surprised at the lack of professionalism of these guys (BBC journalists). Because they had been here since the Tuesday and they had not yet contacted me… He further said to me that ‘I then and there gave him your personal assistant’s telephone number — 456-1703’, and he was surprised that they didn’t contact me on Thursday but waited until Friday five minutes to five to contact me.
“I can only tell you what the man told me. I wasn’t there at the hotel when Kenyon showed him the video on the iPad.”