Accused of perverting the course of justice

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Parliamentarian Joanne Massiah has accused Prime Minister Gaston Browne and three others of preventing justice in the Michael Freeland auction scandal, now that it has been revealed that Browne received a full report on the issue.
Raju Boddu, comptroller of Customs, on Wednesday revealed that he submitted the report to the prime minister since December. Massiah is now of the view that the myriad of questions to be answered between the two men has trebled. She is urging the public to “demand a full report” from Browne in the face of the unresolved scandal surrounding Freeland, a former senator, and the prime minister’s patent and persistent refusal to reveal what happened, and what more and more seems like a deliberate effort to conceal the details.
Characterising his spurning of questions on the subject as “bullish” and his apparent decision to ignore possible crimes committed within his ministry as “a mockery of governance” Massiah has accused Browne of perverting the course of justice. “This matter should have been a police matter. The comptroller had a duty not only to inform the prime minister but to contact the police. [The Prime Minister] owes the same to the public of Antigua and Barbuda,” the MP declared.
She says if the comptroller did not bring the matter to Browne’s attention before December 2017 and, or if he did not report the matter to the police, then Boddu has met “the basis for his resignation.” She questioned, “What else is the comptroller of customs covering-up?” Lennox Weston, Senator and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, attorney general, have not escaped inclusion in the ring of silent public officials whom the MP has charged with the secrecy and obscurity surrounding the scandal.
The MP said the attorney general, is obligated to inspect the report with which the prime minister was furnished and advise the government on turning the matter over to the police if, as the government’s chief legal advisor and the minister responsible for justice, he realises that crimes have gone unpunished.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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