Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson must answer to the people of this country pertaining to the whereabouts of millions of dollars paid by the collapsed CLICO International Life (CIL) to Thompson & Associates, the legal firm of late Prime Minister David Thompson.
Opposition Barbados Labour Party parliamentarian Dwight Sutherland made the call Sunday night as he demanded that the late Prime Minister’s widow must come clean on the issue given that she is a “beneficiary”.
“The CLICO forensic audit report shows that $3.33 million was paid to Thompson & Associates, but you know what? Mara Thompson was the office manager and I think if we are talking about good governance, she owes you the people of St John, and she owes the people of this country an explanation into what was done with that $3.33 million,” Sutherland told a meeting of the BLP’s St John branch.
The June 2013 forensic audit report released in court in March 2015 showed that a $3.33 million payment was purportedly made by CIL back in January 2009 to the law firm.
Sutherland, the Member of Parliament for St George South, said Mara Thompson must be held accountable, as she was the only “living member” of the law firm.
“Your supposedly representative is misrepresenting you the people of St John,” Sutherland charged, adding, “do not allow Mara Thompson to drive the length and breath of St John . . . to do so much damage to you the people of this country and to policyholders, then to come back to you and to ask you for your vote. Hold her hand to the fire.
“She is accountable. Her husband is gone, she was a member of Thompson & Associates, she is the living member and she has to tell the people of this country what was done with that money,” he said to cheers.
Sutherland also took a swipe at Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who he said lacked credibility on the CLICO issue, claiming the Prime Minister had made light of it.
“You could imagine the Prime Minister of this country making mock spot at such a serious issue? Is that good governance? That is a credibility issue.
“So both Mara Thompson and Freundel Stuart, they have to answer to the people of this country, to tell us what was done with the [money] . . . we want to know where that money is,” he charged.
He also called on those vying to represent the BLP in St John in the next election to “walk the length and breath of St John and let the people know that that is what they have voted for and we need answers”.
“Let them know some of these issues . . . . You have a dual duty in St John to go after Mara [Thompson] and also Freundel Stuart,” Sutherland advised.
Dr George Brathwaite, Dale Lashley, Charles Griffith, Fabian “Dandelion” Jones, Keith Rayside and Hudson Griffith will contest the BLP nomination to challenge Thompson, who first won the seat in a by-election in 2011, following her husband’s death in October 2010, and retained the Democratic Labour Party stronghold in the 2013 general election.
Hudson Griffith represented the BLP on both occasions.