Harajchi’s Accounts Face Scrutiny
Iranian businessman Mohammed Harajchi could be called upon to produce his bank accounts after making serious allegations against the government of Prime Minister Perry Christie.
In a statement issued yesterday, Mr. Christie said, “Unless Mr. Harajchi publicly denies that he contributed money towards the renovation of my home, I reserve the option to bring about a forensic examination of Mr. Harajchi’s accounts and records so that his nasty, baseless insinuation can be exposed for the complete fabrication that it is.”
Mr. Christie said it distresses him that when asked at a press conference at his Paradise Island home on Wednesday whether he had donated $500,000 towards the renovation of his (the prime minister’s) residence, Mr. Harajchi, rather than denying that he had, said that the press should “go and ask me”.
“Well, let me say without being asked that Mr. Harajchi did not contribute so much as a single cent toward the renovation of my house,” Mr. Christie said.
“The renovations were financed entirely from the financial resources of my wife and myself without any contribution from Mr. Harajchi whatsoever. As the public is aware, integrity in public life is the cornerstone of my personal and political ethos. I have been in public life for more than 30 years and in the whole of that time there has never been, until now, even so much as a whisper or impropriety against me.”
He said, “Mr. Harajchi has never given any financial assistance of any kind to me or my family at any time whatsoever and no such assistance has every been sought.
Mr. Christie also said it is an “absolute lie” that Mr. Harajchi contributed $10 million to the Progressive Liberal Party during the 2002 general election campaign.
“I note that Mr. Mohammed Harajchi has referred to me as an honorable man,” the prime minister said in the two-page statement issued to the media. “I regret that I cannot say the same of him.
“It is clear that he expected my government to pervert the course of justice and give him back his bank licence. That my government did not do so it is the single, solitary reason [why] Mr. Harajchi has been on a relentless campaign of vengeance against my government for all but the first month or two of my administration.”
The prime minister, who was reportedly irate over Mr. Harajchi’s allegations, also defended the integrity of his Cabinet Ministers.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Harajchi personally attacked several ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Cynthia Pratt and Minister of Works and Utilities Bradley Roberts.
Mr. Christie said in his statement, “I have complete confidence in the integrity of all my ministers. I am satisfied that no minister of my Government has sought or received any illegal or improper financial assistance from Mr. Harajchi either before or after the 2002 General Election.
“I reject, without qualification, Mr. Harajchi’s attempt to smear the good name and reputation of my ministers all of whom, I am satisfied, serve our nation with integrity and honour.”
In addition, the prime minister said, “At no time, either before the 2002 General Election or after, did I ever promise Mr. Harajchi that steps would be taken to restore his bank licence, that is to say, the licence of Suisse Security Bank that had been revoked by the former administration nor did I ever say anything to Mr. Harajchi that could have led him to draw any inference that I would do so.”
He added, “On the contrary, I told Mr. Harajchi that no responsible government would ever seek to interfere in a matter before the courts as that was the forum in which the dispute over the revocation of his licence had come to rest- that is where the matter would have to be resolved.”
The prime minister also said, “I am abundantly satisfied that the financial contributions made to the PLP’s election campaign by Mr. Harajchi were completely proper and lawful in all respects and that no promises of any advantage or preferential consideration of any kind were made to him in exchange for those contributions or as a result of those contributions.
“My party is presently conducting an accounting of monies received from Mr. Harajchi but I can state with complete confidence that Mr. Harajchi’s claim that it was $10 million is an absolute lie. It was nowhere near this amount. It was but a fraction of this amount. Details of our accounting will be made public once completed. Ordinarily we would not disclose the source of campaign contributions, but as Mr. Harajchi has made this a public issue we are obliged to present the detailed facts concerning his contributions as indeed we will do as soon as possible.”