Integrity commission takes no action, refuses comment on Asot scandal

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The head of the country’s only dedicated anti-corruption body has chosen to remain silent on the most recent corruption allegations against MP Asot Michael.
Chairman of the Integrity Commission Radford Hill would not comment when called this morning (Thursday).
Hill says he must consult the other members of the integrity commission before he makes a statement. Yet, nearly two weeks have past since the allegations came to light.
In the nearly two weeks that have passed since the allegations became public, no member of the Commission has volunteered any statement.
However, when Radford Hill spoke to OBSERVER media today he made it clear that there is presently no investigation ongoing into the matter.
On May 11, a UK High Court in a judgement revealed that MP Asot Michael had been taped discussing illicit payments with two men – British billionaire Peter Virdee and a PV Energy Employee, Dieter Trutschler.
On Wednesday, OBSERVER reported that the second man, Dieter Trutschler was involved in a 4.3 million-US-dollar energy company fraud scandal in another country in 2002.
Apart from being an employee, Trutschler has another connection to PV Energy through his wife, who owns a company, that owns shares in PV Energy.
Peter Virdee is the actual principal of PV Energy and the company is responsible for the solar project on George Walter Highway.
Speaking on OBSERVER radio this week, the head of a Global anti-corruption body, and a former National Security Minister from St Kitts argued that the allegations were substantive enough for the Integrity Commission to investigate.
The Integrity Commission is established under the Integrity in Public Life Act. Broadly, its functions are two-fold.
Firstly, the commission is supposed to receive declarations of assets and liabilities from select public officials. Its second function is to investigate corruption.
The Integrity in Public Life Act states that the commission “has the power to conduct an investigation into any offence of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, if it is satisfied that there are grounds for an investigation.”
A UK court has made it clear that it, and UK law enforcement possess tapes in which Virdee and Trutschler discuss illicit payments allegedly requested by Asot Michael.
The UK court has also made it clear that it, and UK law enforcement possess tapes of Asot Michael himself, discussing illicit payments with the two men.
The Prevention of Corruption Act states that it is a crime to solicit money for carrying out one’s duties or omitting to carryout one’s duties as a public official.

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