PM and embattled diplomat refuse further comment on bribery scandal

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More than a week after Ambassador Casroy James publicly denied any involvement in a bribery scandal, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has still not said whether or not he is satisfied with James’ statement.
During the Cabinet’s End of Year Report to the Nation on December 28, Browne declared, “If it can be proven that there is wrongdoing on his part, I think I’ll be duty-bound to relieve him from his position.”
Even though James, Antigua & Barbuda’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has long since rebuffed any notion of wrongdoing on his part, Browne has only so far spoken in his own defense.
When contacted yesterday, he said, “If you have anything to ask in relation to Casroy’s conduct you can ask him. I have already said to you that I don’t know these people. There was certainly no collusion or involvement on my part…I have nothing further to say.”
Browne, too, had to deny impropriety when his office was named in Brazilian court documents related to the Odebrecht bribery scandal. When OBSERVER media contacted James yesterday to inquire whether the Prime Minister had given James his position on the matter, James merely said, “I have no comment.”
A senior police officer has indicated that the force does not have the matter on its radar. The Office of National Drug & Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) simply said that it could not comment on its activities in relation to the bank or international investigations.
In December 2016, Odebrecht – a Brazilian construction conglomerate – pleaded guilty in the United States to violating the United States (US) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by conducting bribes in the US.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

Prime Minister Gaston Browne

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