A video clip depicting Leader of the People’s Action Movement, Lindsay F. Grant, allegedly engaged in negotiations for future sale of crown lands to a foreigner in exchange for campaign funds surfaced on the video sharing website YouTube. The almost 5 minute video was posted to the site on Monday By a YouTube user “cashforacres” and so far the controversial video has been viewed almost 1500 times. The scandal was first exposed on January 10 when PAM’s leader announced at a public meeting that the Labour party had launched a smear campaign against him in the form of a bribery plot. Grant has emphatically denied being “caught taking a bribe” and claimed his “intelligence team” had discovered the scheme and that he was advised to “play along”. Just over a week later the video surfaced on the internet showing Grant in a room with a male whose identity was intentionally blurred but who could be heard speaking with a British accent. Much of the video clip was inaudible but caption was displayed at the bottom indicating what was allegedly being said By both men. According to the video caption, the “investor” offers Grant US $1.5 million in campaign funding in exchange for his interests purchasing 200 acres of crown land for US $20,000 an acre were PAM to win Monday’s general elections. It goes on to claim that Grant asks for $1.7 million, suggesting the funds be channeled through ‘some outside trust accounts” he operated that he could filter the money through so that it “would not show”. Grant told the media on Wednesday that the incident was clearly a ‘set up” and only proved that he was honest not to have accepted the bribe but instead going public about the plot. “Quite clearly as we’ve said all long it was a set up from the beginning and that is how we have to view the issue…I broke the story on Sunday night when the consummation of the deal was to have been the Monday morning. If I was, according to them, selling lands of this country I would have waited to consummate the deal on January 11th. But bearing in mind we knew it was a set up, revelations were made Sunday evening; that in itself says something to you,” he said. Grant went on to say that the room the imposter was staying in at the Marriott Resort had been paid for with taxpayers dollars By the Labour party and that after he spoke of the plot, the man was flown out of St. Kitts the very next day. The tape shown on YouTube, Grant contended, was “obviously doctored” and he questioned why the face of the “investor” was not shown. “All these matters indicate clearly that it was a set up By the Labour Party. Why did it take them a whole week to produce the tape? Obviously they were splicing and splicing and doctoring the tape. The story on the tape has no difference to what I indicated the public on Sunday evening. How come the tape does not show the policy of a PAM government going forward was not to sell land but to lease land?” He said his hands are as clean now as they were when he took over the party some 9 years ago and the only thing he could be faulted on was that he “did not take a bribe”. When asked why, if it was a known set up, he had not recorded the meeting, Grant said in hindsight he ‘should have”. “Hindsight is 20/20 vision and I’m an honest individual. How this is playing out, in hindsight I ought to have worked with my own recording but I believe everybody is entitled to an error of judgment. In hindsight I would have worked with a tape to show the difference between my tape and the doctored tape.” After having denied any knowledge of the bribery plot, Labour party leader Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas subsequently said at a public meeting that Grant had lost credibility as a party leader and aspiring prime minister. “How could anybody who aspires to be a credible leader make such a fundamental mistake; a mistake of judgment? Sits in a room, negotiate with a man he don’t know to sell 200 acres of the people’s land for a quarter of the price he knows it costs on the market,” Douglas said. He claimed Grant had accused him of underselling crown land yet was displaying hypocrisy By negotiating to sell “Labour” land at an even lower rate. “When you work out what he selling Labour land for it is less that 50 cents per square foot. He is the same one going around saying that Labour is selling government land for 70 cents a square foot, well since when 50 cents is more than 70 cents? It is the hypocrisy of Lindsay Grant that I speak to. Why would anyone sit down and arrange to take a bribe? Not fit for the role of leadership! In that role you cannot afford to make fundamental mistakes like that!” Douglas adamantly reiterated that this party had no involvement in the fiasco and claimed that the room the “investor” was staying in was paid for in cash. Grant’s political opponent in Constituency #4, Labour’s Glen “Ghost” Phillip also addressed the scandalous video, saying he was not surprised that Grant was involved in alleged bribery. Interestingly, Phillip, who is a newcomer to the political race, referred to the pretend investor as “an undercover reporter”. “Lindsay Grant is saying on the stage that PAM has an offshore account, that they funnel money into this country. Nobody ask him, I’m saying what’s on the tape. Check YouTube, I’m not making anything. This is what the undercover reporter is reporting. But I’m not surprised about Lindsay Grant and bribery. When they said I was gonna run for this constituency; when the rumor was out before I even accepted, Lindsay Grant came to me and tried to offer me a bribe. But I said to Lindsay Grant ‘No way!’Lindsay grant cannot be trusted,” Phillip said. The Observer asked Grant if he felt the scandal would negatively impact his chances at the polls for Monday’s general elections to which he responded that he would let the people be the judge. “I can’t say. I leave it to the electorate. My thing is that we have run a clean campaign; we’ve run a campaign on honesty and integrity, that’s what I’ve done for the last 9 years. I will let the people be the judge. We’ve run a campaign on issues, crime, cost of living, corruption; but at the end of the day the power is in the hands of the people,” he answered.= PAM’s leader said he was confident not only of his victory in Constituency #4, but of an overall PAM victory on January 25th.
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