PM accuses SCL of tracking him in UK
September 10, 2010
PM accuses SCL of tracking him in UK

Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves said he is being tracked.

And he has accused Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), campaign consultants to the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), of being responsible for this.{{more}}

On Tuesday, September 7, Gonsalves called the hosts of the We Fm’s “Shake Up” programme, Elson Crick and Sir Vincent Beache, from London, claiming that he believes that there is a possibility that “they are interfering with our [The Office of the Prime Minister] telecommunication”.

He said he was prompted to make the call after he had an “interesting confrontation” with someone that afternoon, who had identified himself as Scherzando Karasu, a journalist working with SCL.

The prime minister said he was accosted by the man, who he believes to be of Middle Eastern descent, in the hotel lobby where he was staying.

He said that he is sure that SCL did not find out of his whereabouts from his office or the St.Vincent and the Grenadines High Commission in London.

“They could have found out from one or two other sources, I would admit. But it may well be, remember I raised the question earlier on that they were hacking into, they wanted to pay somebody to hack into my e-mail.

“To make the reservation, there would have been an e-mail contact between my office and this hotel where I normally stay when I come to London. Now there are several issues: possibly that they are interfering with our telecommunications, but they are definitely tracking the Prime Minister of St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Gonsalves.

Recounting the afternoon’s encounter, Gonsalves said: “I came out of the car, came through the door at the lobby, two bags of books in one hand and in another hand a little carry-on with some clothes in it, which I’d just bought. This man who is of mixed decent, maybe, fair skin but looks Middle Eastern or Indian Asian, says to me ‘Are you the Prime Minister of St.Vincent and the Grenadines?’ I said yes. He said ‘I am a journalist. I want to ask you a few questions.’

“He says ‘I understand that you’re in London to seek out campaign funds.’ I say, you say you are a journalist, where is your identification? Then he started to stutter. He says that he works with Strategic Communication Laboratories. I say, but you are not a journalist. I say and if you are a journalist you should be removed as a journalist.”

Gonsalves recalled asking the man if he knew that SCL is the campaign consultant to the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), to which the man responded ‘yes’.

“I said but you are some kind of idiot to come and ask me whether I am in London for the purposes of raising campaign funds. I say in fact you are rude,” Gonsalves claimed he told the man.

The prime minister said he want Vincentians to understand the extent of the intrusion that SCL is having in the local politics of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

“It has now gone past being capaign consultants. They are interfering with me and harassing me as I go about my legitimate business,” said Gonsalves.

In the run up to the November 25 Referendum, which the Government lost, Gonsalves heavily critized SCL and it’s staff, calling them “mind benders”.

SEARCHLIGHT was unable to reach Arnhim Eustace, Political Leader of the NDP and Leader of the Opposition, and Vynette Frederick, PRO for the NDP, for a comment on the issue. A final call at press time was unsuccessful because Eustace was in a meeting and could not take the call.