Front Page
June 13, 2008
Police probe threats against PM, ‘Que Pasa’ cries foul

Police are investigating death threats that have allegedly been made against Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}} According to information received, the alleged plot was hatched by a Vincentian man who is alleged to be a drug trafficker and money launderer, a Cabinet Minister from a sister Caricom state and criminal elements from overseas.

While talks of threats against the Prime Minister have surfaced before, SEARCHLIGHT’s information is that this alleged threat is being treated with the utmost gravity.

Sources close to the investigation believe that the threats are related to recent operations by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the police in the fight against money laundering and drug trafficking.

Police officials are mum on the steps being taken to heighten security for the Prime Minister. However, one government source, speaking on the assurance of anonymity, told SEARCHLIGHT that government will continue to be hard on drug dealers, and they are confident that the power of the state will overcome that of the underworld.

Meanwhile, Antonio “Que Pasa” Gellizeau of Penniston is crying foul, saying that he was tortured by police, had his life threatened and has been accused of being involved in the alleged assassination plot against Dr Gonsalves.

At a press conference on Wednesday, June 11, Gellizeau, along with his lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne, and his girlfriend Delores Glasgow-Williams accused the police of subjecting him and his family to wanton acts of police abuse, torture, detention, threats and a “general campaign to make his life a misery.”

Bacchus-Browne read a letter dated June 11, 2008 addressed to Commissioner of Police Keith Miller in which she alleges that the police action against Gellizeau is a direct reprisal for his refusal to accede to a request made by COP Miller for him to give evidence in upcoming court cases against radio host Elwardo Lynch.

In the letter, Bacchus-Browne lists 13 incidents that she claims supports her claims of police abuse. Among the incidents, Gellizeau accused the police of driving him to Fenton Mountain at about 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, and torturing him “by beating him and threatening to shoot him.”

“The four police men were armed with M16 riffles and 4 hand guns. They also threatened to kill his children and family then kill him if he spoke or revealed certain information they said he possessed,” the letter further states.

Bacchus- Browne’s letter further alleges that the police took Gellizeau’s mother from the airport, illegally seized her debit card, and using threats and oppression, obtained a statement from her in which she condemned her son. The letter also lists the searching of Gellizeau’s mother’s Arnos Vales house as part this alleged “general campaign.”

Bacchus -Browne also pointed to the Ex parte order that was sought and obtained restraining Gellizeau’s use of his assets, as well as assets that are in the names of relatives and friends, “without making an allowance for living and legal expenses, contrary to established legal principles.”

It has been reported that the FIU got the order to restrict the sale of three pieces of real estate and eleven vehicles, including a Honda CRV SUV P253 registered to Gellizeau’s girlfriend Glasgow- Williams.

The court order also prevents him from withdrawing money from his accounts at the St. Vincent Cooperative Bank and in St. Lucia’s First National Bank.

In the order granted by Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle, Gellizeau was not given any allowance for living or legal expenses.

In the court documents, Gellizeau is said to own two boats, one of which is the vessel ‘Jo Tobin’, from which over US$1 million was seized by police on March 5th.

Two men, Kent Andrews of Trinidad and Bermudian Winston Robinson are answering to multiple charges in connection with this find.

Robinson was deported from Dutch St. Maarten in 2003 after serving half of a 16-month sentence for narcotics possession.

Highly placed sources say that police are investigating whether or not these recent legal interventions are at the root of the alleged threats levied at Dr Gonsalves.

Gellizeau has however categorically denied being involved in any such plot.

“I have no reason to threaten the Prime Minister in whatsoever way,” he said.

In the letter sent to COP Miller, Gellizeau claims that the Prime Minister’s son comes to his home to ride his track bike on weekends.

In a departure from the norm, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has not spoken about these most recent alleged threats issued against his life.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke to him on Wednesday, Dr Gonsalves said that he knows his teenage son is part of a dirt bike riding group and he does ride on weekends, but he says that he knew nothing of Gellizeau’s claim.

During the press conference, which was held at Bacchus-Browne’s office, Gellizeau said that he was afraid for his life when police picked him up last Saturday.

“Somebody could just knock down your door and say “police”. One, you don’t go, you get charged for resisting arrest. They beat you up, they do what they want with you, and you still have to go with them. You go and you don’t know where they carrying you, it is a frightening, frightening situation,” Gellizeau, 43, said.

“The law says if any one makes illegal threats there is a procedure. Arrest the person and charge them, do your investigations, but regardless, you don’t torture the individual, that is completely illegal,” said Bacchus Browne, who in her letter, described Gellizeau as a seaman and businessman for over two decades.

He is also said by Bacchus Browne in the letter to have various prominent citizens, including policemen, politicians, and lawyers “among his close associates.”

Gellizeau was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment in Antigua in 1994 on a drug trafficking offence.

Bacchus Browne said that Gellizeau has secured sealed envelopes with alleged delicate information with “certain agencies outside St Vincent and the Grenadines which will be opened should he suffer an untimely demise.”

Copies of the letter sent to the Commissioner of Police, Bacchus-Browne says, have also been forwarded to various Human Rights bodies.

COP Miller confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT that he had received the letter and said that the accusations would be investigated.