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Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph Calls Pierre “A Fool” Over PAJOAH Letter

Image of Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre & Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph.

Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph yesterday called Leader of the Opposition Philip J Pierre “a fool” for making a big deal about the PAJOAH letter.

What has come to be called the PAJOAH letter is a letter purporting to be written by Minister Joseph that sought funding for a street lighting project and the St Jude Hospital Project on behalf of a company called PAJOAH Limited and Associates.

Image of Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph.
Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph.

Joseph has not denied nor affirmed having written that letter.

The letter was dated 12 November, 2018 and bore the letterhead of the Government of Saint Lucia. At its end was a signature asserting to be that of Joseph and a stamp declaring it to be the property of the Ministry of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation.

This latest bombardment from Joseph comes five days after Pierre at a press conference called on Prime Minister Allen Chastanet to fire Joseph from his portfolio of Economic Development as the letter signified “gross misbehaviour in public office” and was “a clear breach of the protocols, checks and balances as it pertains to matters of public finance.”

Pierre, last month, had called on the Prime Minister to clarify the circumstances surrounding the letter that was circulating in the public domain via social media.

According to Pierre the letter was confirming the direct award of EC$167.4 million worth of contracts without Parliamentary approval.

“At that time, I called on the Prime Minister to recognise the seriousness of the letter since Honourable Guy Joseph was alleged to have signed the letter.  I informed the Prime Minister that if the signature was authentic then this was a rather serious matter and Guy Joseph should be disciplined for gross misbehaviour in public office. On the other hand, if the signature was fraudulent then the police should be called to investigate this rather serious matter.  There has been no response from the Honourable Prime Minister,” Pierre said last week.

Image of Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre.
Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre.

Pierre, questioning whether the Prime Minister was afraid of what an investigation into the PAJOAH letter would reveal said, “It is an internationally accepted fact that such letters are never permitted except with the approval of the Prime Minister who has publicly denied knowledge of the letter.”

Pierre added that a former Prime Minister has stated that if the letter and signature were indeed authentic then it was a gross violation of the Ministerial code and the Minister should be disciplined.

Minister Joseph scoffed at the idea that the letter was a violation of the Ministerial code and that he should resign as a result. He described as absurd Pierre’s call for his resignation pointing to the Rochamel and Grynberg matters, during which time Pierre was part of the SLP government, as evidence of Pierre’s absurdity as he felt those two matters were of greater concern to the country than the PAJOAH letter.

“Two wrongs do not make a right,” Joseph said, “But if you (Pierre) want to speak with any moral authority on any matter you must stand as an example of having stood for some principle at some point in time in your life,” was Joseph’s returning salvo to Pierre yesterday.

Joseph further attempted to discredit Pierre’s moral authority challenging him on the PAJOAH’s letter by mentioning the Robert Ainsworth letter. The latter was a letter signed by former Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony to Englishman Robert Ainsworth suggesting the leasing or purchasing of various parcels of land in the south measuring 1000 acres for Ainsworth business ventures. That letter was described by Pierre as “a Letter of Comfort”. Joseph also said he has not heard Pierre speak about the Grynberg matter that Dr Anthony signed back in 2000.

Joseph said Pierre’s statement that the letter commits the Government of Saint Lucia to any debt was ridiculous and low of Pierre, particularly now that he aspires to be prime minister of Saint Lucia.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

1 Comment

  1. RSM Production Corporation v. Saint Lucia (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/10)

    Proceeding
    Materials
    Procedural Details
    Subject of Dispute: Hydrocarbons exploration agreement Economic Sector: Oil, Gas & Mining Instrument(s) Invoked: i Contract Applicable Rules:ICSID Convention – Arbitration Rules

    (a) Original Proceeding
    Claimant(s)/Nationality(ies): i RSM
    Production Corporation (U.S.)

    Respondent(s):Saint Lucia (St. Lucian)

    Date Registered:April 23, 2012
    Date of Constitution of Tribunal:August 6, 2013

    Composition of Tribunal President:Siegfried H. ELSING (German) – Appointed by the Parties

    Arbitrators:Edward NOTTINGHAM (U.S.) – Appointed by the Claimant(s)

    GRIFFITH (Australian) – Appointed by the
    Respondent(s)
    Party Representatives

    Claimant(s):
    Law Office of Daniel L. Abrams, New York, NY, U.S.A.
    Mishcon de Reya, London, U.K.

    Respondent(s):
    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, New York, NY, U.S.A. and London, U.K.
    Attorney General of Saint Lucia, Castries, Saint Lucia
    Language(s) of Proceeding:English

    Status of Proceeding:Concluded

    Outcome of Proceeding:July 15, 2016 – The Tribunal renders its award; attached to the award is an assenting opinion by arbitrator Gavan Griffith.

    (b) Annulment Proceeding

    Applicant(s)/Requesting Party(ies): i Claimant(s) Date Registered:

    November 21, 2016 Date of Constitution of ad hoc Committee:January 4, 2017

    Composition of ad hoc Committee (Appointed by the Chairman of the Administrative Council) President:Donald M. MCRAE (Canadian, New Zealand) Members:Andreas BUCHER (Swiss)
    Alexis MOURRE (French)
    Party Representatives

    Claimant(s):
    Law Office of Daniel L. Abrams, New York, NY, U.S.A.
    Mishcon de Reya, London, U.K.

    Respondent(s):
    Attorney General for the Government of Saint Lucia, Castries, Saint Lucia

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, New York, NY, U.S.A.

    Language(s) of Proceeding:English

    Status of Proceeding:Concluded

    Outcome of Proceeding:May 23, 2019 – The ad hoc Committee issues a decision on the rectification of the decision on annulment.

    (c) Rectification Proceeding
    Claimant(s)/Nationality(ies): i Claimant(s) Date Registered:May 6, 2019 (Claimant(s))
    Party Representatives

    Claimant(s):
    Mishcon de Reya, London, U.K.
    Hall Estill, Denver, CO, U.S.A.

    Respondent(s):
    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, New York, NY, U.S.A. and London, U.K.

    Attorney General of Saint Lucia, Castries, Saint Lucia

    Language(s) of Proceeding:English

    Status of Proceeding:Concluded

    Outcome of Proceeding:May 23, 2019 – The ad hoc Committee issues a decision on the rectification of the decision on annulment.

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