Dr. Troy Thomas, president of the Transparency Institute of Guyana has called on Senator Michael Freeland to state publicly what became of the reported sum of $160,000 in auction proceeds that was notpaid in to the customs division.
Dr. Thomas, a speaker on yesterday’s Big Issues programme on OBSERVER Radio, made the call even after hearing that Senator Lennox Weston had explained in the Senate last week that the money was reportedly stolen from Freeland.
“I don’t see that making a statement on it can hurt him. As a public official, you have a duty to always be transparent with the people. If there is something the people don’t understand about this incident or missing links, you must come to the public,” Dr. Thomas declared.
“Missing links” was one point agreed on by Dr. Thomas and two other speakers during the programme which sought to analyse the current state of the controversy involving Freeland and the auction money.
Weston, on Monday last week, said Freeland, an auctioneer, was the victim of a break-in on the night he collected the proceeds of the auction. Weston said the culprits made off with the money from Freeland’s car, and the matter was reported to the police. He also stated that Freeland had been repaying the sum.
Martin Farrell, vice chairperson of the Transparency Institute of Trinidad and Tobago (TITT), and also appearing on the programme said, “If everything [Weston] says is correct, the fact that he has to pay it back makes it sound like it is not a police matter.”
St. Lucian political analyst Denys Springer, who was also on the programme said, “If it happened the way [Weston] said, then I cannot see why [Freeland] has to pay it back in tranches. Maybe it’s the embarrassment of the whole thing.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)