Parties see no reason to return Olint funds
MORE THAN one year after documents were issued by the Supreme Court in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), it appears both the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have not placed the issue of returning money received from investment scheme Olint on their frontburners.
The documents had claimed that Olint and its founder, David Smith, contributed millions of United States dollars to Jamaica's two major political parties,
During a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week, JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang said: "You cannot pay back based on a news report, and there have been no court orders."
Olint has alleged that it contributed US$5 million to the JLP in the 2007 general election campaign. Following the claim, the JLP said checks were being done to determine whether the money was received.
West Portland Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz has admitted receiving contributions from Olint.
NO WORD FROM TCI
Last week, JLP Leader Andrew Holness stressed that "the Turks and Caicos people have said nothing to us".
Asked if the JLP would return the money if asked to do so by TCI authorities, Holness responded: "I could not tell you that. I would have had to know about some reserves somewhere."
The court documents had also claimed that Olint donated US$2 million to the People's National Party (PNP) and US$1 million to former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.
Patterson has denied receiving any donations from Smith or Olint. After an internal probe, the PNP admitted that Olint donated US$1 million to an account that Patterson had no knowledge or control of, but said it was not aware of the US$2 million donation.
The PNP said it did not see any reason to return the money, as Olint was a legal entity at the time the contribution was made.
Yesterday, Mark Golding, the PNP's treasurer, said the party "has taken no further position on the matter".