March 2, 2007

PM divulges some of Frederick’s letter

In what may be called a last ditch effort to lay the Alex Lawrence saga to rest, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Thursday read excerpts of the letter written to the Director of Public Prosecution which eventually led to the early release of the convicted drug dealer.

Addressing the House of Assembly as well as others listening to the proceedings, the Prime Minister stated that after consultations with law enforcement agencies, he would only be able to divulge certain parts of the letter, which was written by counsel for Lawrence, New Democratic Party (NDP) Public Relations Officer Vynette Fredrick. {{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves also stated that the letter was read in its entirety to Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace.

The Prime Minister said that the parts of the letter he was able to read should show that Lawrence’s release was indeed a matter of national security.

According to Dr. Gonsalves; “The letter begins ‘Dear Sir… I write with regard to the information which my client Alex Lawrence may be able to provide to assist in the trial of so and so who is currently facing so and so charges… I have visited Mr. Lawrence and wish to communicate the following…'”

“Mr. so sand so gave me a detailed confession on how he actually killed two victims… I have further information regarding two unsolved murders… I have credible information of an attempt to kill two crown witnesses…”

The Prime Minister also went on to reveal that after the letter was written, but before Lawrence’s release, one of the crown witnesses mentioned in the letter was killed.

After reading the excerpts, the Prime Minister went on to state that a head of prisons report was also read to Eustace during their 90-minute long meeting which took place in January.

He said that prison reports revealed that based on information from Lawrence, a sweep of Her Majesty’s Prisons was conducted, and among other contraband, five cellular phones were recovered, one of which is believed to have ordered the execution of the crown witness.

Since the confiscation of the phones and consequent action, two prison wardens have left the job.

Lawrence was released last November with three and a half months of his sentence remaining on drug related charges.

Since his release the opposition NDP has been calling for an explanation. Gonsalves and Eustace met on the matter, and it was later revealed by the Prime Minister that Frederick was counsel for Lawrence. Both Frederick and Eustace had called on the Prime Minister to reveal the contents of the letter, claiming its contents did not constitute a matter of national security.

The Prime Minister has warned that anyone playing politics with national security will meet in him a resolute foe.