The prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis has denied the authenticity of documents published on the US Attorney General website regarding payments made by the government to a US lawyer.
Ms. Marcella Liburd, a member of the opposition party, brought the documents to the attention of the national assembly on Monday, saying that the documents in question show payments made to Mr. Lanny Davis, a US lawyer, and another company for lobbying services on behalf of the St. Kitts and Nevis government during the first half of 2016.
The documents show the first payment was US$53,000, paid by the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Kitts and Nevis to Lanny J. Davis and Associates LLC in Washington DC. The second payment was made to Levick Strategic Communications in Washington DC totalling US$43,000.
The prime minister, Dr. Timothy Harris has accused members of parliament who have brought the issue of these documents up of “relying on hearsay”.
Dr. Harris said the documents posted on the US Attorney General’s website were “a concoction and imagination.”
“The Honourable Member for St. Christopher 2 is engaging in hearsay, is engaging in falsehood. There has been not one cent paid by this government to Lanny Davis. She ought not to continue to proffer that untruth,” said Prime Minister Harris.
MP Liburd questioned the denial by the Prime Minister in the face of the evidence, but was told by Speaker Mr. Michael to desist from mentioning that issue during the debate.
She presented Speaker Perkins with copies of the payments as filed on the United States Attorney General’s Office website.
“I have now gotten a copy of some document that is purported to be some official US Government document. That does not necessarily mean it is authentic as the Minister of Finance has said there is no record that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has paid out any monies. On that basis my ruling is, it stops there until someone can prove the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (Dr. Harris) uttered some falsehood,” ruled Speaker Perkins.
Liburd has accused Harris of misleading the lawmaking body in December 2015 when he stated that the professional services of Lanny Davis was free.
“On December 4, 2015, I was retained by Prime Minister, the Honorable Timothy Harris, Head of the Government of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. We were asked to conduct an independent review of the increased efforts of the St. Kitts and Nevis Government to enhance and strengthen its vetting and background checking procedures under its CBI,” Davis wrote in an article posted on The Daily Caller website dated January 26, 2016.