Chastanet Presents Documents In Joint Hilaire-Juffali Account Controversy – St. Lucia Times News

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Opposition leader Allen Chastanet told reporters Wednesday that he had presented documents to House Speaker Claudius Francis regarding a claim made in parliament the previous day.

The claim came amidst debate on the Special Prosecutor Act aimed at addressing corruption by incumbent public officials and others who have demitted office.

Chastanet had declared in the house that Castries South MP and former Saint Lucia High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr. Ernest Hilaire had a joint account with late Saudi billionaire Walid Juffali.

Juffali received an appointment in April 2014 as Saint Lucia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

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Chastanet made the joint account claim while calling attention to the Hilaire Range Rover controversy, which the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) dubbed ‘Rovergate’.

But Hilaire, accusing the Micoud South MP of ‘stepping out of line’ and misleading the house, told parliament that he never had a joint account with anyone in his life.

However, Chastanet declined to withdraw his statement and promised to present evidence the next day.

“I have provided to the Speaker of the House already a letter from the Auditor General indicating that the account existed,” the former Saint Lucia Prime Minister told a news conference on Wednesday morning.

According to Chastanet, the letter indicated that no permission was sought to open the account, that 66,500 pounds were placed in it, and monies from the fund went to some staff members.

He said he also provided the Speaker of the House with letters from the Accountant General.

“I also have copies of the opening of the account and that the account was in the name of Ernest Hilaire as High Commissioner and that the co-signature on it was Juffali as the Ambassador,” Chastanet told reporters.

And he explained that he would provide the remaining documents ‘early next week’.

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