Prime Minister Skerrit’s Attorney Anthony Astaphan stated on state-owned DBS Radio, that there will be no lawsuits coming from attorneys representing Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, against Kenneth Rijock, the man behind the controversial claim that Skerrit was being investigated by US authorities for his alleged role in the matter involving ex-Dominican diplomat, Ali Reza Ziba Halat Monfared. He argued such a lawsuit would be too expensive and a waste of time. However, he appears eager to file law suites against Dominicans, including Opposition Leader Lennox Linton, US Based Dominican Attorney Gabriel Christian, and former IMF Economist Dominican Dr Thomson Fontaine.
Astaphan says “We were told that suing him would be an extraordinary waste of time because what he writes is such utter garbage,” Astaphan stated. “The government would be wasting money. The best thing for us to would be to ignore him and to focus on what is being said in Dominica.” He described Rijock as an “evil man” that “has gone to jail.
Monfared, an Iranian national, was arrested recently after an international manhunt on allegations of being involved in Iran’s biggest-ever corruption scandal. Rijock, a compliance officer specializing in Enhanced Due Diligence, and a Financial Crime Consultant, alleged in a blog post, that reliable sources have confirmed that Skerrit was under investigation in the Monfared matter by an agency of the United States. He did not name the agency.
Rijock added, “The investigation is said to be into Skerrit’s actions, in facilitating the delivery of a diplomatic passport to a known international sanctions violator, Monfared, who was a part of a massive $400m Iran oil-for-gold sanctions evasion operation, involving his alleged partners, Babak Zanjani, and Reza Zarrab; Zarrab is awaiting trial in US District Court in New York”.
The Prime Minister has since denied the allegations. Astaphan said the “critical actors” in the case are Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, Gabriel Christian, Thomson Fontaine and others. Astaphan confirmed on Tuesday, that Prime Minister Skerrit has given him the green light to proceed with legal actions against Linton, Christian and Fontaine.
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