Meanwhile, the highly anticipated CBS 60 minutes’ interview with Opposition Leader Lennox Linton, took place on Sunday 1st December 2016, with respect to the Citizenship by Investment Programs of small islanddeveloping States like Dominica. In a segment entitled ‘Passports for Sale’, CBS’s Steve Kroft explored & investigated how small cash-starved countries, such as Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and St Lucia, offer citizenship for a price, or ‘Cash for Passports’, creating ways to ease travel for international citizens, including those running from the law’.
During that interview, Linton said nothing that had not already been out in the public domain. However, CBS’ Steve Kroft did mention the names of at least three persons who had been granted Dominica’s Diplomatic passports,and who had been somewhat questionable, and may have ran into difficulties with the law in certain countries. Meanwhile, new revelations came from the founder of the CBI program himself, who admitted that he was the holder of several passports, but he was not prepared to disclose how many, and from which countries.
He did however compare wealthy people owning ‘passports’ to wealthy people owning ‘credit cards’. He also acknowledged that some of those passports purchasedvia the CBI program, had fallen into the wrong hands, but he argued that the decision to sell those passports to those people, was entirely that of the Ministers of the Governments of the countries concerned.
Meanwhile, even before the ‘CBS 60 Minutes’ interview was aired on Sunday, Attorney Anthony Astaphan had already stated that Opposition Leader Lennox Linton should not be forgiven for his ‘acts of betrayal’ against Dominica, and went on to describe Linton inunflattering terms, during a discussion on local radio.
As a consequence, Leader of the Opposition United Workers Party, Lennox Linton, has written to Attorney Anthony Astaphan, asking for the basis of his statements which Linton claims defamed his character, and his duty as a Parliamentary constituency representative.Linton has demanded a response from Astaphan “forthwith,” and made it clear that it is his intention is to seek legal advice on what he called “this extremely despicable behaviour, which you have so boldly exhibited – even as you mourn the recent death of your father.”
In that letter, Linton referred to an interview which was aired on Kairi FM Radio on Friday December 30, 2016, in which he says Astaphan described him in the “vilest of terms” over an interview that he did with CBS, which was yet to be aired. He says Astaphan prefaced his comments like this: ‘And then we find out Lennox Linton has volunteered to assist CBS in a story that obviously, based on the preview, is premised on lies. He said, “On December 22, 2016, CBS started airing a promotional item entitled ‘Preview: Passports for Sale’ with the announcement that Steve Kroft would, on Sunday January 1, 2017, report ‘on how small cash-starved countries, such as island nations of Antigua & Dominica, offer citizenship for a price, creating ways to ease travel for international citizens, including those running from the law.”
Linton says he was interviewed, as Leader of the Opposition, by Steve Kroft, “and a small extract of that interview was aired in an advertisement, in which I am quoted correctly as saying that it costs $100,000 to get citizenship; one can pay the money from wherever he is, and doesn’t even have to come to Dominica to get the citizenship; & agreed with Kroft that it was something like a mail order citizenship.”
The letter continues, “You then went on to say, among other things, that it was my intention to ‘sabotage the Citizenship by Investment Programme’; that my actions amounted to a ‘terrorist declaration of war’; that I had embarked on an ‘economic form of terrorism’; that ‘the only honest motive Linton would have to travel to Antigua for that interview, is a desperate pathological desire for facial recognition’; that ‘Linton from today should be branded as a traitor to this country’; and that I ‘deliberately suppressed facts that ‘I’ know to be true’.”
Linton said Attorney Astaphan is aware of his right to freedom of expression, freedom to hold & communicate opinions without interference,guaranteed by the Constitution of Dominica. “And as a human being living in a pluralistic& democratic society, the rules of common decency should govern your conduct & behaviour.”
Linton states in the letter that Astaphan further described him on the Kairi FM program as “a despicable man, a pathological man, unpatriotic, and absolutely disqualified to represent any single human being in this land, or any lifeform, whether in the form of a horse, a donkey, or a dog in any scenario or in any place”. Linton’s letter goes on to state, “notwithstanding your political leanings, it behoves me to enquire of the basis on which you have determined to defame my character and my duty as a Parliamentary constituency representative in that manner, and to a listening audience which transcends the country’s borders.”
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