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May 15, 2014

COLA wants the PM to hand over Auditor General’s report on immigration scandal

As we reported on Wednesday, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie says he’s uncertain of the whereabouts of the Penner files, a bundle of documents sent to him outlining various offences committed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner in facilitating Wong Hong Kim with a fraudulent Belizean passport.  That information is believed to be languishing amongst a stockpile of papers on some desk within the police department.  Notwithstanding the absence of the file, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, under the Freedom of Information Act, has written Prime Minister Barrow requesting the preliminary report provided by the auditor general on March twenty-first.  COLA is also asking for a copy of scanned documents presented to PM Barrow which were used during a press conference on October fifteenth of last year.  The request succeeds all futile attempts by the organization and its attorney to obtain the requisite information to proceed with a private prosecution of Penner.


Kareem Musa, Attorney for COLA

Kareem Musa

“As you know, the first course of action that COLA and myself, as the private prosecutor in the case took, we had requested the materials and the evidence gathered from the auditor general because she had informed the media that she was carrying out an independent investigation into the immigration matter involving Mr. Penner.  Of course there is not just the Kim Wong Hong file, there are many other instances, there are many other irregularities and wrongdoing that she was investigating.  In response to our request for that information, the auditor general said that she cannot give us her report and again, as I’ve mentioned previously, we did not ask her for her report.  But, nonetheless, what she mentioned in that letter in March of 2014, was very key and very vital because what she said is that, “okay, I don’t have the report anymore, I have passed that on to the prime minister.  It is on his desk.”  So the letter today from COLA basically is to request two things from the prime minister because, as you know, evidence now is all over the place.  Some people don’t even know where it is anymore, the commissioner of police says he is clueless, he doesn’t watch the news, he will never watch the news.  That is his M.O. or his modus operandi.  The D.P.P. has sent us a letter dated May seventh, 2014 in which she says that she had sent the file back to the commissioner of police and in particular to the head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch.  So we don’t know who is in fact giving us proper guidance in this matter, the D.P.P. is saying one thing, the commissioner of police is saying another.  No one knows exactly where the file is.  The only thing we are certain of as of this moment is what the auditor general has told us and what the prime minister from his press conference told us which is one: that the auditor general’s report of March 2014 is in his possession.  So we are requesting that from him.  We are requesting under the Freedom of Information Act that he provides us with that information that is on his desk.”

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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