Golding disturbed by allegations against Robertson

BY ERICA VIRTUE Observer writer virtuee@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

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PRIME Minister Bruce Golding yesterday admitted that he was disturbed by the damning allegations made against Energy Minister James Robertson, allegations that he said were brought to his attention in October.


Addressing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) delegates attending the public session of the party’s 67th annual conference at the National Arena, Golding said that he had been approached by accuser Ian Johnson, and had passed over information presented by Johnson to the police.


Johnson, in an affidavit filed in a United States court, claimed Robertson had a contract out on the lives of persons in his constituency.


“I am disturbed, and I think all of us would be at those allegations,” Golding said. “The gentleman who made those allegations approached me at my constituency office in Tivoli Gardens on the 28th of October. He handed me this letter, it was a four-paged letter, spoke to me for two minutes,” Golding told several thousand labourites.


“He said, ‘read it’. When I eventually read the letter, and saw the nature of the charges that were contained, I figured the matter was one that ought to be handled by the appropriate authorities. I passed that letter over to the police at a high level on Monday the first of November, and I asked them to have the matter investigated,” Golding said.


He said he spoke to Robertson, who “categorically denied the allegations contained in that statement”.


Johnson, in a 67-paged sworn statement, alleges that the St Thomas Western member of Parliament was involved in murder for hire.


Johnson, a businessman from St Thomas, is seeking political asylum in the United States after charging that attempts have been made to murder him, and at least one of the attempts resulted in the death of his mother.


Yesterday, Golding said that no one should judge based on allegations and without the proper investigation of those allegations.


“I trust that this matter will be thoroughly and speedily investigated because it is not fair to James to have this matter hanging over his head,” said Golding, who also said that any culpability on Robertson’s part will have dire consequences.


But he said if Robertson was not guilty in any way, then he is owed a commitment “that those investigations would be carried out swiftly so that any doubt which exists can be resolved and his family can find some comfort after all the distress caused”.

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