by Lashawna Griffith
Member of Parliament for St Michael South Central Marsha Caddle this evening challenged President of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla De Peiza to declare where she stands on the issue of integrity in public life.
Speaking at her constituency’s annual general meeting at her Tweedside Road office this evening, Caddle took issue with De Peiza’s recent statements about former Government Minister Donville Inniss, who is facing three money laundering charges in the United States.
It is alleged that Inniss used his ministerial position to get contracts for the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited in exchange for bribes, and laundered the money through a New York-based dental company.
Just over two weeks ago, the DLP president told the media at a branch meeting in the St James South constituency once represented by Inniss, that he was innocent until proven guilty and was still a member of the DLP.
“What I have to say about Mr Inniss is – and you would start by knowing that I am an attorney-at-law – his matter is still sub judice. It has not in any way been ventilated with any court that I am aware of, and up until such time that that happens he remains in my eyes and the party’s eyes, and should also be in the public’s eyes, innocent until proven guilty,” De Peiza said.
However, Caddle suggested that De Peiza, who appeared before the Joint Select Committee on the Integrity in Public Life Bill and had complained that the legislation was inadequate, had some explaining to do.
“Our commitment is not just a clean Barbados physically, but from the perspective of integrity. It was so interesting to me that even as certain members of the former administration are fighting for their freedom in other jurisdictions, you can have the new leadership of that party on the one hand going before the Integrity Commission to make representation that the draft legislation is not adequate, and on the other hand saying that they support the former member as a party.
“Well, which one is it? You have to choose,” Caddle said to loud applause from members of the St Michael South Central Constituency Council who elected a new executive at this evening’s meeting.