Three Opposition politicians in Antigua on corruption charges

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ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The leader of the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell and two other former ministers have been charged with corruption in connection with three buses donated to the former administration.

Lovell, along with former education minister Senator Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro and former health minister Wilmoth Daniel have been summoned to appear in court next Wednesday on charges of larceny, fraudulent conversion and corruption.

It’s alleged that they converted the buses, valued at more than EC$600,000 (US$222,222), to their personal use and had the vehicles registered in their names.

But the UPP says the charges are politically motivated, and accused the ruling Antigua Labour Party (ALP) of attempting to deflect from its “dismal failures to deliver on any of the promises that it made to the electorate”, as it approaches its two-year anniversary in office.

“The charges reflect a poor attempt to cover up the political policing practised by the Gaston Browne administration, in full collaboration with the Commissioner of Police,” the UPP said in a statement.

“The UPP is convinced that all right thinking citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda clearly understand that this action is no more than a failed smokescreen for numerous ALP acts of scandal and misgovernance…The UPP stands firmly and resolutely with its leaders, and our party is fully satisfied that at the end of the process, however long it may take, our leaders will be vindicated,” it added.

Another top UPP official, chairman D Gisele Isaac, is facing corruption charges as well, related to her term as executive secretary of the Board of Education.

 

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