Tuesday 7 July, 2020

PM Chastanet Promises Another Inquiry into the Grynberg Matter

Just over a year after promising an inquiry into the Hydrocarbon Exploration Agreement that former Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony signed with Colorado oilman Jack Grynberg in 2000, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet yesterday spoke of another possible inquiry into the same agreement.

This second promise of an inquiry came after the prime minister was asked if he would launch one by a reporter.

Like the first time he spoke of such an inquiry, the prime minister could not pin down a time frame for the commencement of it.

Chastanet said government is currently meeting with lawyers representing Saint Lucia at the International Centre for Settlement of Industrial Disputes to determine what comes next for Saint Lucia following the settlement of an internal matter at the court between the two parties earlier this year.

According to the prime minister, after advice from lawyers, one of the options would be an inquiry into the facts in the case. He said an inquiry would force the former prime minister Dr Anthony to provide details about the case.

The prime minister explained that the uncertainty surrounding the time frame for the commencement of an inquiry has been because of the internal matter being unsettled until recently this year.

Even when he spoke of launching an inquiry into the matter early last year, the prime minister did not appear convinced that such an inquiry would take place within a reasonable time. In fact, he spoke of putting in place a council as a first step in deciding whether an inquiry is needed.

Government, Chastanet said at the time, was looking to assign a specific council to review the process that was required and to put together all the documentation and thereafter determine what action could be taken.

But what if an inquiry is not possible?

The prime minister answered that a year ago by stating that Saint Lucians would have at least a document like the Ramsahoye Report, which will show a factual detail of what actually transpired and if in fact were any irregularities in the agreement.

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