Leader of the House Opposition, Stephenson King has called out Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy to supply information relating to a license issued to Colorado oilman Jack Grynberg.
Grynberg is in the process of suing the Saint Lucia government to the tune of USD500 million dollars in damages. The businessman claims he procured a license from the government that assured him sole rights to search for oil beneath the Saint Lucia seabed.
In a letter this week King questioned whether the governor general had issued the license, since she is the sole person authorized to do so under the Minerals (Vesting) Act, or if someone else had unlawfully done the deed.
He also took umbrage with his party being thwarted in its attempts to obtain more information on what he referred to as the “largely secret transaction” between the Anthony helmed administration and Mr Grynberg.
King also included current Speaker of the House, Peter Foster, among those who had placed obstacles in the opposition’s path. He noted that Foster is Anthony’s lawyer in a case against Castries Central MP, Richard Frederick, also involving Jack Grynberg.
It is not the first time King has addressed this issue, commonly known as “The Grynberg Affair.” Following the 2011 Budget debate, the then prime minister had appealed to his predecessor via an address to the nation to supply him with whatever information he had on the Grynberg matter.
According to King, Grynberg had “habitually invoked force majeure clauses soon after signing agreements with mainly under-developed, under-informed poor nations.” Force majeure is defined as a the law of insurance frequently used in construction contracts to protect the parties in the event that a segment of the contract cannot be performed due to causes outside the control of the parties, such as natural disasters, that could not be evaded through the exercise of due care.
Grynberg similarly sued Grenada for breach of contract in 1996, for allegedly refusing to grant him a promised exploration license. The ICSID ordered both sides to pay their own expenses and ruled that Grynberg had failed to apply for the license on time. By some accounts the Grenada people paid over $10 million dollars.
It is anyone’s guess how long it will take before the opposition leader receives his response from the governor general, who usually acts “on the advice of the prime minister!”