St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Team Unity government, accused of harbouring Chinese national Ren Biao who is wanted by Interpol and China on financial crime charges, is hitting back.
China wants Biao, who has a St Kitts and Nevis passport, sent back to Beijing for him to be tried for his alleged crimes, and the government in Basseterre is being accused of not cooperating on that matter.
Prime Minister Timothy Harris has responded to a call from Opposition leader Denzil Douglas for him to resign over the issue, by accusing the former Douglas administration of being the one that failed to address the matter while in government.
Speaking on Sugar City FM Monday morning, Dr Harris described the Ren Biao controversy as a bad inheritance of the Denzil Douglas administration.
“In 2014 Interpol formally advised the Denzil Douglas administration that the suspects, if you will, were coming to St Kitts and he ought to have taken action. Indeed in the report that was submitted in July 2014 by the Interpol authorities from Washington, they gave the Denzil Douglas administration the name of the Chinese that was coming. This information is being relayed to the Denzil Douglas administration and to advise Interpol. Well if the gentleman and the lady are here as citizens of St Kitts and Nevis and Douglas had this notice, this warning, this flash flash report from Interpol, Douglas ought to be ashamed of himself to now to be coming talking about these same persons, for if there was anyone who harboured them it would have been the Denzil Douglas administration.”
Referring to the issue as a Douglas calamity, the prime minister said his administration intends dealing with the Chinese national/St Kitts Nevis economic citizen controversy.
“We now have to determine the best course forward having regard to the constitution and the rule of law and whatever we do the pride of our country and the dignity attached to our country’s name must remain in tact.”
A small group of placard-bearing Labour Party supporters, very critical of the government’s handling of the matter, were outside Sugar City FM protesting.
Drs. Terrance Drew and Vance Gilbert, and MP Marcella Liburd were among those who spoke to WINN FM.
“Our dignity as a country is at risk here and I don’t think the actions of the Prime Minister is really helping the situation, so I am protesting and calling on the Prime Minister to do what is correct to protect the good name of our country in the name of international cooperation and of good governance.”
“I think the country is at a crossroad here with this situation, this is a government while they were in opposition that spoke about good governance and accountability and we have yet to hear or see any notion of good governance and see accountability whatsoever. I mean Dr Harris is on the radio right now talking about Dr Douglas when the issue is staring him in the face and he’s talking about Dr Douglas so we must protest against these things, these things cannot happen in a country that’s supposed to be democratic and beholden to strong governance principles so we are here protesting and we will continue to protest until this matter is actually resolved” Mr. Gilbert said.
“I think this is really getting out of hand, and it’s putting us really in jeopardy, the entire nation, I mean this is beyond politics right now. We have an international crisis on our hands and the Prime Minster instead of addressing the nation and the people, gone into a radio station with Michael Powell where you can’t take any questions, there’s no press conference. That’s what he should be doing, this is really terribly insulting to the people of St Kitts and Nevis.”
Prime Minister Harris has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday.