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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BRIDGETOWN1021
2007-08-15 18:21:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bridgetown
Cable title:  

ST. LUCIAN HOUSING MINISTER RICHARD FREDERICK MAY

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  KCRM  KJUS  ST  XL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWN #1021/01 2271821
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151821Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5231
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1777
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAORD/CUSTOMS CARIBBEAN ATTACHE MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL
RUEHCV/USDAO CARACAS VE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L BRIDGETOWN 001021 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
DOJ FOR OIA-ANDREW GENTEIN
DHS/ICE MIAMI FOR MICHAEL LAPORE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCRM KJUS ST XL
SUBJECT: ST. LUCIAN HOUSING MINISTER RICHARD FREDERICK MAY
WALK

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 810

B. BRIDGETOWN 749

C. BRIDGETOWN 49

Classified By: A/DCM Clyde Howard for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: St. Lucian Housing Minister, Richard
Frederick, returned for police questioning on July 18 as part
of an investigation against Frederick's alleged customs
violations. Various authorities and observers are concerned
that the Director of Public Prosecutions will not pursue the
case because of incompetence, and various members of
parliament have reportedly threatened to leave the party if
charges against Frederick are not dropped. In addition, the
chief investigator in Frederick's case claimed to have
received a threat on his life. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) On July 18, Richard Frederick, Minister for Housing,
Urban Renewal, and Local Government, returned to Gros Islet
police station as ordered during his June 18 detention.
Police and customs authorities are investigating Frederick
and two others for alleged customs duties evasion while
importing luxury vehicles from the United States (ref A).
The Comptroller of Customs and lead investigator in the case,
Terence Leonard, told PolOff that the Director of Public
Prosecutions (DPP), Victoria Charles-Clarke, is hesitant to
officially charge Frederick because she is still unsatisfied
with the evidence gathered and continues to require
investigators to produce additional information. Leonard is
also concerned that Charles-Clarke might intentionally be
road blocking the case.

WILL THE DPP PROSECUTE?


--------------------------





3. (U) Currently, the DPP's ethics and competence are under
fire. At the heart of this attack is the case of Marcus
Nicholas, one of Frederick's fellow United Workers Party
(UWP) members of parliament. On April 9, Nicholas reportedly
refused to cooperate with police when stopped for a traffic
violation and ran from the scene before he was detained,
resulting in nine charges against him. On July 12, a
magistrate cleared Nicholas of all charges because his case
filed "disappeared." Charles-Clarke admitted that she had
the file, but that she was unaware of the date of the court
case and therefore unable to provide the prosecutor with the
file.



4. (C) Various contacts have told PolOff that Charles-Clarke
has political ties to the UWP, which led to deliberate
mishandling of Nicholas's case. Some of these contacts also
stated that the DPP is personal friends with Frederick.
However, a prominent lawyer told PolOff that he knows
Charles-Clarke personally and claimed that she is an honest
and ethical person who would not offend the integrity of her
profession. A resident diplomat also confirmed this. Many
of these contacts, however, including the prominent lawyer
and diplomat, agreed that the DPP is not the most capable or
strongest-willed person.

POLITICAL DEALINGS AND AN ASSASSINATION THREAT


--------------------------

-



5. (C) Two factors further complicate this case. Both
Leonard and a news editor close to the UWP told PolOff that
the elected UWP members of parliament, save Prime Minister
Sir John Compton, recently held a meeting in which Frederick,
Nicholas, and the fired Rufus Bousquet (ref B) threatened to
leave the party and stand as independents in parliament
unless certain concessions were made. Such a move would
cripple the UWP majority and make the three independents the
key decision makers in Parliament. Among the alleged
concessions were reinstating Bousquet as Foreign Minister and
dropping all charges against Frederick. Reportedly, the 10
members came to a compromise, but PolOff is unaware of any
follow-up action to date. Another complication, according to
Leonard, is that Frederick has recently put a ECD 50,000 (USD
20,000) price on Leonard's head. Leonard claimed that
Frederick entrusted this information with a friend, who then
informed Leonard of the plan.

COMMENT: THE RISE OR FALL OF FREDERICK


--------------------------





6. (C) The combination of incompetence and possible loyalty
to Frederick make it doubtful that the DPP will successfully
prosecute a case against Frederick. In addition, Frederick's
personal charisma and wealth have generated support among the
general public and especially among members of Parliament,
whose political campaigns have received Frederick's generous
financial support. There are some who believe that no matter
the case's outcome, the resulting damage to Frederick's
reputation will prevent his upward climb to political power,
but Frederick's ambitions may not be limited to becoming
prime minister. According to Acting Prime Minister
Stephenson King, PM Compton will likely retire this fall,
possibly in conjunction with the UWP convention in October
and the UWP may appoint King as PM at that time. Frederick
may use this opportunity to assume the role of Minister for
Home Affairs and Internal Security, a job he has coveted
since the election. Given his suspected ties to
narcotraffickers (ref C), this is as much a worrisome
scenario as becoming prime minister.
OURISMAN