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Jul 5, 2017

Did Someone Forge Castro’s Words?

In the case of Edmond Castro, there is a trail in the Auditor General’s Reports as well as in documentation provided by previous witnesses in the inquiry. Castro’s name appears multiple times as recommender for various nationals who did not otherwise meet requirements. And there is an example of a letter of recommendation Castro wrote in the Report, which does not contain what he refers to as his trademark admonition that the person be granted their respective documentation if they meet all other requirements. Confronted with both, Castro was dismissive, talking about how easily one can forge and alter documents.

 

Michel Chebat, P.U.P. Senator

“There are at least two letters, which you wrote on the thirteenth of May, 2013, and in each of those letters, in one, you recommended six persons; and in the other one, you recommended five persons for visas. Do you recall that?”

 

Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport and NEMO

“No, sir.”

 

Michel Chebat

“And if you see it would you recognize your signature?”

 

Edmond Castro

“No, sir.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Neither?”

 

 

Edmond Castro

“Probably. But I want to tell you this: you could be in Belize and you appear as if you are in Taiwan, or you could appear based on the technology is available now with Whatsapp, Viber and all those things – they could have you in Paris, scanning somebody’s signatures and put it on a document is not immune in these days of technology.”

 

Elena Smith, Pro-tem Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Minister, you are being given a document to look at the signature to determine if those are you signatures.”

 

Edmond Castro

“I can’t tell for sure. It looks like my signature, but I can’t tell for sure if that is my signature.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Can you say how much persons are recommended on those?”

 

Edmond Castro

“I think that you can get back your document; I don’t know.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Minister, can you look and say… (Cross-talking)”

 

Edmond Castro

“I noh interested in that. (Cross-talking) Looks like my signature but I can’t say for sure that it’s my signature and if you want to say how many people are on there you have your documents, man.”

 

Michel Chebat

“And it’s on your letterhead?”

 

Edmond Castro

“Anybody can scan anybody’s signature; the same thing can happen to you. “

 

Michel Chebat

“Is that your letterhead, Minister?”

 

Edmond Castro

“That is the easiest thing. It looks like my letterhead.”

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“I started earlier by saying that you said earlier that normally, when you would write a letter to request assistance, that you would say something to the effect, if the applicant meets all the requirements. I’m just saying in this instance there was no notation like that one. (Interruption) So were there times when you did not say “if the applicant meets all the requirements?”

 

Edmond Castro

“That’s not correct. This document, this paraphrased letter, is not something I would write, or sign. This is a paraphrase of somebody’s version. And moreover, when I read the documents, I would never put “Edmond Castro” and then “Clear the Land Castro.” I would never do that. So this is somebody botching something here; I would never say that.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“It says, “Signed, Honorable Edmond Castro, Minister of State…”

 

Edmond Castro

“I read that section; there’s only six times that my name appears in this whole document. And this one, that is a fake; because when I write a letter, I would never ever write, “Honorable Edmond Castro, Clear the Land Castro,” and then Castro again at the end. But this is a fake.  That’s botched.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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