Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Reckless! Davies demands Burke retract claims over campaign money

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 8:06 PM
Davies, the former Transport Minister, in a letter to Burke, which was released to the media, sought to distance himself from the allegations.

Senior People’s National Party (PNP) member, Dr Omar Davies is demanding that the party’s general secretary, Paul Burke, retract statements he says implicate him in a multi-million dollar campaign financing scandal.

The scandal rocking the PNP first came to light after the leak of a report from the former PNP treasurer, Norman Horne, that monies collected on behalf of the party were not handed over.

PNP insiders say in one instance, a foreign entity contributed US$20 million to the PNP, which was collected by a senior official but not handed over to the party.

This afternoon, Davies, the former Transport Minister, in a letter to Burke, which was released to the media, sought to distance himself from the allegations.

In the letter, Davies accused Burke of making certain statements at a meeting of the National Executive Council which seemed to implicate him in the corrupt activity.

He accuses Burke of telling the meeting that it is customary for large Chinese firms to pay an 'agent fee' ranging from 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent of their total project cost.


IN PHOTO: Paul Burke

Davies, who is also the St Andrew South MP,  claims Burke stated that it’s usually the portfolio minister who names the agent, and that the agent fee amounted to between US$10 million and US$12 million.

He says Burke suggested that a significant portion of that fee should have gone to the PNP's campaign fund, but this did not happen.

Davies says while Burke did not name anyone, many persons left the meeting with the impression that he (Davies) was the government minister who had recommended the agent to the Chinese firm.

But Davies denies making any recommendations to any Chinese firm for an agent or knowing anything about any contributions made to the party.

He says Burke’s statements were reckless and unacceptable and he’s demanding that the general secretary publicly lay out all the facts related to the matter.

Davies says he’s making the demand as his integrity is being questioned as a result of what he describes as Burke’s unsubstantiated claims.