Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, February 15, 2020

DOMINICA'S PRIME MINISTER THREATENED INTERNATIONAL MEDIA FOR EXPOSING THE COUNTRY'S DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT SALES SCANDAL



When one of the world's largest and best-known investigative media outlets recently exposed the sordid truth about the massive illegal sales of diplomatic passports by Dominica's senior officials, the country's prime minister threatened a suit for libel. Given that Dominica's court system is notoriously corrupt, and ignores the Rule of Law, it is required to follow and is especially sensitive to the demands of senior government officials. Any libel suit brought in Dominica against foreign media would most likely result in a swift judgment, irrespective of the facts or the law.

 Roosevelt Skerrit, the PM of the Commonwealth of Dominica, openly and publicly threatened Aljazeera, after the news network's investigative reporters filed stories detailing how white-collar criminals have easily purchased prized diplomatic passports in Dominica, and gone on to commit major criminal acts, using the passports to shield them from arrest, as well as customs inspection of their illicit possessions, when they appear at international ports of entry. The sale of those passports to dodgy foreign nationals, who thereafter do not perform any diplomatic functions or duties, is a violation of the United Nation's Vienna Convention on Diplomacy. They are to be considered void as a matter of law, which a number of law enforcement agencies have done, when arresting the holders.



Skerrit, who is suspected of actually profiting from cash sales, for millions of dollars each, of diplomatic passports, alleged that Aljazeera was working on behalf of his country's opposition party, and its leader, though he offered no evidence in support of that claim, which has no basis in fact. Skerrit further alleged that the stories were part of an attempt to "destabilize" Dominica. The network's presentation actually showed how the dark world of Dominica's diplomatic passport sales operates, by having a journalist pose as an interested purchaser. Attacking the messenger, which is a favorite tactic of corrupt politicians exposed by media in the Caribbean, rather than responding on the merits of the issues, operates as additional confirmation of the truth presented.

So long as Dominica engages in the illegal sales of its diplomatic passports, transnational crime will continue to be facilitated by those individuals, and criminal organizations, who covertly purchase them from senior officials.

 

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