Since the beginning of the Trafigura scandal here in Jamaica [catch up here], it is noticeable that, if there are not many outright lies in this affair, there are certainly many people being “economical with the truth”, to use that celebrated expression.
At the moment, there is still a degree of fuzziness about the gift/bribe. In other countries, the onus is on the government to prove there is no trace of possible corruption; here, it is up to people like journalist Mark Wignall to keep picking at the pieces. The question of whether anyone personally profited from the $31 million would clarify the issue enormously. The number of people who knew, and exactly what they knew, is another point he rightly pursues.
From my own reading, I find the Prime Minister’s spokesperson’s words of yesterday a little too carefully chosen, as if he was tiptoeing through a minefield.
Robinson was unable to say whether the prime minister, wearing her party hat as president, had met on any other occasions with the Trafigura representatives.
“I would not have known about such a meeting with the PNP,” he said. “If she met with the Trafigura people along with other PNP officers, I do not know of it.”
That’s why Catholics came up with the notion of a sin of omission rather than a sin of complicity, I guess.
It is clear that Trafigura’s President, Claude Dauphin, currently resident in jail in Abidjan, met Campbell and the PM during his last visit to Jamaica on 23-24 August, yet no one has come up with the timing. Does the PM not have a public diary? That would show if the meeting admitted was their only meeting.
Her spokesperson claims that the PM met with Trafugura’s man for 25-30 minutes, but merely exchanged “pleasantries”.
Imagine eavesdropping …
CD: Congratulations Prime Minister on being the first female leader of Jamaica!
PM: Thank you Mr Dauphin, it’s very kind of you.
CD: You seem to be very popular with your people.
PM: We’re trying our best, you know.
CD: I’m sure you are!
CD: Mmm, this coffee is delicious!
PM: We make the best coffee in the world, you know.
CD: Yes, mmm.
PM: Another biscuit?
CD: Thank you.
CD: Phoof! The time is hot!
PM: Yes, it is.
How long did that take??
Scintillating stuff. And at no time did they talk business, even though the relationship between Trafigura and the Government of Jamaica is purely business, right?