Former Government minister Donville Inniss, who was convicted of money laundering in the ICBL affair, said Monday he is not paying much attention to the news that the US is seeking to have his alleged co-conspirator Alex Tasker extradited to face the same charges.
Inniss, once a star minister in the Freundel Stuart administration, responsible for industry, international business, commerce and small business development has maintained his innocence, even as he awaits sentencing in four months’ time. He was convicted in a US federal court on January 16 of money laundering conspiracy and two counts of money laundering related to bribe payments received from ICBL in order to secure Government contracts.
When asked to comment on Tasker’s appearance in court today to face the extradition charge, Inniss told Barbados TODAY he was focused on proving his innocence.
Inniss declared: “I am not distracted on court issues in Barbados that I am not a defendant. I remain focused on fighting the injustices meted out to me in the USA. I was not bribed by anyone or any company in Barbados or anywhere and will continue to fight these charges and convictions. I await the evidence that I in any way influenced any contracts issued by the BIDC to ICBL or any entity there or elsewhere.
“There are some persons in Barbados who may not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to foreign powers. I wish him and anyone else well.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2015 and 2016, Inniss took part in a scheme to launder into the United States approximately $36,000 in bribes that he received from high-level executives of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL).
Prosecutors maintained that at the time, Inniss used his position as a minister to enable ICBL to obtain two insurance contracts from the Barbados Government to insure over $100 million worth of government property, in exchange for the cash.
To conceal the bribes, Inniss arranged to receive them through a U.S. bank account in the name of his friend’s dental company, which had an address in Elmont, New York.
The trial evidence further showed that Inniss used a personal email account to communicate with an executive from ICBL in connection with the bribe payments and the laundering of the money through the dental company in New York.
He is to be sentenced in April.