Prime Minister sues over “Million Dollar Assets, $5,000 Salary” enquiry

[Jones Pentwistle, Politics Contributor]

In 2007, the editor of the Dominica Times (not associated with iToD Daily)  had the audacity to ask the incumbent Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skeritt, how he got to be a millionaire on his $5,000 salary as a public servant.  The PM was understandably outraged by the impudence of any citizen asking him for such an explanation and in quick time, the inquisitive reporter was slapped with a libel suit by whom-no-else than the PM himself.

To date, no real explanation of the PM’s income has been given to anyone.  However, you can see the PM’s rebuttal of the allegations by clicking on this link which you may wish to compare with the findings of the Barbados Free Press:

“Our investigations reveal that on August 8th, 2005, Prime Minister Skerrit purchased a 2.06-acre portion of the Hartington Estate in Trafalgar. On September 1st, 2005, he purchased an additional 2.989 acres – part of the Wallhouse Estate. Indications are Skerrit paid cash in the Trafalgar transaction and secured bank financing for not more than 33% percent of the 2005 market price of the Wallhouse land.

Professionals in the field of land valuation indicate that at the time of purchase, fair market value for the Hartington Estate property was approximately $448,000.00 while the value estimate for the Wallhouse Property was $650,000.00. It however appears from the registration documents that the land was purchased for about $1.00 a square foot in the case of the Wall house property and $1.01 per square foot for the Trafalgar acquisition.

Since land in both areas have been sold at significantly higher rates, these suggested purchase prices raise questions about the land values used for the purpose of calculating taxes paid to the government for registration and the transfers of title to Skerrit.

Observers are noting that both acquisitions surfaced in the wake of the 2005 general election – an event characterized by the Dominica Labour Party’s lavish multi-million dollar spending at a time when it was burdening citizens with the most painful economic adjustment programme in the history of this country.

It is now widely expected that Mr. Skerrit will explain how he has been able to secure these and other personal assets conservatively valued at well over one million dollars on his legal income as a Minister of Government since February 2000…”.

Bearing all that in mind, Dominicans are getting somewhat disgruntled with Mr. Skerritt, especially as his lawyer (or is it ‘ex-lawyer’ now) Stephen Isidore, is currently facing fraud charges to explain why over $6 million is missing from the coffers of Isidore Emanuel, a law firm he had shared with veteran lawyer and ex-Chief Magistrate, Glenworth Emanuel.

The plot thickens for Mr. Skerritt.

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