Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Heart of the hoax - Robertson, Lawrence, Vaz pushing to find out who plotted to frame them

Published:Sunday | February 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Ian Allen/Photographer Daryl Vaz (left), Otneil Lawerence (centre), and James Robertson leaving a police briefing last Friday.

Two sitting Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) members of parliament (MP) and one former MP are determined to clear their names after fingers were pointed at them in the alleged plot to kill Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang.

West Portland MP Daryl Vaz; Western St Thomas MP James Robertson, and former North West St Ann MP Othneil Lawrence were last Friday briefed by senior police investigators after news broke that they were named in one of three statements given by a man who is now to be charged with public mischief.

The three expressed disappointment and anger that their names were called in a plot which sources say was hatched in a bar in the Corporate Area. The three have also retained lawyers as they consider action to repair the damage done to their reputations.

Lawrence's nervousness and relief was obvious as he emerged from the police briefing minutes after midday but he refused to speak with our news team.

However, Vaz and Robertson held nothing back as they continued to press for the police to continue their probe to determine who was the mastermind of the plot which saw a known criminal claiming that $7 million was offered to kill Holness and Chang.

"The police briefed us on the nature of the (false) allegations made against us. However, they were unable to give us copies of the statements because the man who made the allegations will appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate Court on Tuesday to answer charges of public mischief. So we will be present there to get copies and properly inform ourselves more," Vaz told The Sunday Gleaner.

According to Robertson, who was said to be the note-taker in the meeting, the police informed them that Holness was kept abreast of the investigations at all times, including details of the allegations by the man who had previously served time in prison after being convicted on a similar public- mischief charge and fraud.

In a statement issued last Tuesday, the police said between January 28 and February 9, 2015, an investigation led by senior detectives from the Major Investigation Task Force was carried out into the alleged death threat.

"The completed investigations reveal that there was no such threat and that the report was fabricated. Consequently, one man has been arrested in connection with the false report," said the Corporate Communications Unit.

- E.V.