'Kibber yuh mouth', Knight tells Holness
BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-large South/Central Bureau email@example.com
Thursday, December 08, 2011
BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — LAWYER and St Elizabeth election co-ordinator for the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) KD Knight says Prime Minister and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness should stay quiet in relation to the Trafigura scandal, which dogged the PNP in the final year of its administration, ending in 2007.
Addressing party supporters in Black River late Monday, Knight said while Jamaicans knew that the PNP had received "a donation" from Dutch company Trafigura in 2006, the JLP had remained quiet about the source of funding to acquire the services of law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, which lobbied the US Government in relation to last year's extradition of former West Kingston don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
"I heard Samuda (JLP campaign director Karl Samuda) on radio. He says JLP has money. Well, we know that in 2006 Trafigura gave the PNP some money, we don't know in 2011 who has given money to the JLP, we don't know," he said.
"Bruce Golding instructed the JLP to hire Manatt, Phelps and Phillips. When we asked who paid the US$100,000 to employ Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, he says he can't tell us so we don't know. Some people have some view as to who paid that money to lobby on behalf of 'Dudus', but we don't know," Knight added.
In the circumstances, he said Holness should "kibbah (close) yuh mouth, don't talk about it again (because) if you talk about it again there is more I have to say".
The JLP, including Holness, has repeatedly accused the PNP of corruption and a "cover-up" surrounding the circumstances in which the Dutch company handed over $31 million to the PNP for its 2007 election campaign. The matter is currently before the courts.
Both political parties have said they support, in principle, the concept of party finance sources being declared, but they have also pointed to difficulties, including the reluctance of donors to have their identities revealed because of the perceived political climate in Jamaica.
Knight roused laughter and cheers from the large crowd in Black River by boasting that he had been responsible for the resignation of former Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the ousting from the Cabinet of former Justice Minister and Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne because of their perceived missteps in the handling of the Coke extradition and related matters.
He also reminded them that he had called for the dismissal of former National Works Agency executive Patrick Wong and the resignation of former Minister of Transport and Works Mike Henry because of the scandal surrounding the running of the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme.
Further, Knight said he had been unwavering in his calls for the JLP to call elections "this year, not next year".
On Sunday night, Holness announced the dates for nomination of candidates as December 12 and December 29.
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