Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia Pratt today faces an onslaught from the Mohammed Harajchi camp, as the controversy involving donations made to the Progressive Liberal Party’s 2002 election campaign by the Iranian businessman continues.
Derek Ryan, Mr. Harajchi’s attorney, has called a press conference for today to specifically address the response made by the deputy prime minister to Mr. Harajchi’s claims that he gave her money to put burglar bars on her constituency office windows.
Minister Pratt has come out strongly, denying the accusations, accusing Mr. Harajchi of telling an untruth.
She has admitted that he made contributions to some of her constituents, but said Mr. Harajchi never made any contributions to her constituency office or any personal contributions to her.
But Mr. Ryan has said he intends to set the record straight in this regard and prove Minister Pratt wrong.
The deputy prime minister has also gone on record saying that she would support any effort to revoke the permanent residency of Mr. Harajchi and she has said she hopes this would be something the government will address.
“Anytime you are going to get to the place where you’re going to go out there and try to discredit the government of the day, you don’t deserve to have permanent residence,” she told the Journal last week.
During a press conference nearly two weeks ago, Mr. Harajchi attacked members of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Perry Christie, pointing specifically to alleged donations to the deputy prime minister.
He also said that Minister of Works and Utilities Bradley Roberts asked a personal favour from him, a claim Minister Roberts has also vehemently blasted.
The latest move planned by associates of Mr. Harajchi has many people wondering when the saga is going to end.
Prime Minister Perry Christie, who returns to the capital today after a state visit to China, is sure to face questions on the growing controversy.
Before leaving, he responded to Mr. Harajchi’s claims and defended the integrity of members of his Cabinet.
“I have complete confidence in the integrity of all my ministers,” Mr. Christie said in his statement. “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.”