Rufus to Kenny: Take Me to Court!

Minister of External Affairs and Choiseul/Saltibus MP Rufus Bousquet says he views the latest allegations against him as “laughable.”  Bousquet was responding to statements by the Leader of the Opposition Dr Kenny Anthony that the External Affairs Minister had swindled a foreign investor.
Anthony made the revelation during the launch of Bousquet’s opponent, Lorne Theophilus in Choiseul on August 7. Anthony referred to an affidavit from an unnamed individual. The so-called affidavit, which is unsigned, has been circulated via social media and Dr Anthony has yet to name the people involved. No one can be sure though if the affidavit making the rounds is indeed what Dr Anthony spoke of on platform. The legal definition for an affidavit “is statement of facts which is sworn to (or affirmed) before an officer who has authority to administer an oath (for example a notary public).”
Addressing the allegations of corruption, Bousquet said, “When Kenny Anthony goes on political platforms and makes these kinds of statements with an affidavit concerning an unnamed investor, I can say to you that I have no idea what he is talking about.  Who is the investor?  If he has some evidence of me being corrupt, I think what he should do is present the evidence to the relevant authorities and proceed from there but to make these bland statements on a political platform is taking politics to a new low.”
The MP believes this attack on his character is a ruse to distract from the issues of the day.  Said Bousquet, “As I said a long time ago, I expected to be a target of the Labour Party.  I suppose that is their way of targeting me and to, in a sense, deflect from the real critical issue of the country’s loss of some 35,000 square kilometers of its sea bed.  This, to me, is the opposition just throwing stuff out there to distract the media and distract the public so they can focus their attention elsewhere.”
Bousquet denied the allegations saying, “Kenny Anthony is a constitutional lawyer which puts him at a level insofar as the legal profession is concerned. He ought to be able to rise above even the average lawyer in this country in many areas of knowledgeable law.  An affidavit, whether notarized or not, has absolutely no legal value unless it is part of a court proceeding.  If Kenny Anthony wants to come with something that he considers legally binding and therefore affords me an opportunity for redress, then he needs to come with a statutory declaration because a statutory declaration includes redress for me.  So-called affidavits, without a legal proceedings is nothing.  If there was a legal proceeding, the person would have purged themselves.  There is no legal proceeding and it is absolute nonsense.  It is a complete fabrication.  It is a waste of time.”
As far as the External Affairs Minster is concerned, this is a matter that should be dealt with in an appropriate forum and “not for political party platforms at the launching of my opponent in my constituency.  That’s not the place for that.”
He challenged Anthony to “go in the proper legal environment” and ventilate the allegations.
The STAR asked Bousquet to speculate as to why he believes the Labour Party needs to “distract” the public.  He answered, “Kenny Anthony is in a lot of trouble.  His credibility is certainly under attack.  It is beyond being questioned.  His credibility has been question and has been found wanting on a number of occasions.  Certainly on matters relating to the NCA, the Helenites Affair, Rochamel.  All of these things point to someone who is absolutely careless at the very least with St Lucia’s resources and having to face the grim reality of what transpired with the Grynberg Affair, and for which he really needs to come clean to the public and to deal with the matter, it is a matter for him as a central figure in this issue to answer the important questions.  In an effort not to answer that and to divert the public, considering that we are in an election year, he is throwing everything that he can out there, he and his acolytes, in an effort to take the public’s attention away from this issue.  That is the real issue.  It has a detrimental effect on St Lucia’s sovereignty and St Lucia’s bottom line.  Getting out of this, at the very least, is going to cost us a tremendous amount of money and it is something that we have had to deal with on a continuous basis.  He needs to stop floating these red herrings about the place.”
Would Bousquet consider litigation against the former prime minister for libel?  The answer is no.  Bousquet said, “I understand in St Lucia politics and that it is part of the territory.  I know that people get away with a lot.  Personally, I have so much to do that to spend time thinking or engaging my mind towards some sort of redress via the courts or any other media is something that I will not deal with.  I am one of those people, believe it or not, that say leave it to God.  I am not one to go to the courts if a politician says something about me or if someone says something about me through politics.  I chose politics.”
Commenting on the dynamics of politics in St Lucia, he said, “Politics is a dirty game or rather people who play the game of politics play it a very dirty way in this country.  I stay away from it.  I have lots of opportunities to attack my opponent in the most gruesome fashion but I don’t think I would ever need to do that.  I think I would highlight what it is I have achieved and I will campaign on my achievement.  I will see that as the basis upon which I will ask people to vote for me.  I am not here to try to trash other people or bring out their dirty linen.  The public knows what they know and I will let them deal with that on the basis of their own convictions.”

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