After the former Leader of the USP party was summoned to court this past Thursday, to answer to criminal charges, The Politician emotionally tells the court he feels he has being unfairly targeted in the investigation. He said he is confused about what’s happening to him and that it appears he is alone in all this.
The Prosecutor laid out a number of suspected criminal charges against Richardson which includes receiving substantial sums of money from Tiliesin Construction Company and Hardware Store owner Critchlow on work done to Bureau Telecommunication and Post Building (BTP) after the Hurricane. He is also charged of abusing his power as a Member of Parliament. The politician said the monies he received were donations for election campaigns, but Richardson never declared and register any of the payment he received with the Electoral Council which is an obligation by Law.
During the investigation Crichlow told investigators that Richardson and Carty both asked for a commission of $50,000 in exchange for contracts. Crichlow also admitted that all politicians wanted money from him. According to the business man Crichlow mentioned that only William Marlin and Sarah Wescot-Williams never asked for money. In a brief estimate to detectives Crichlow claimed that over a period of 15 years he spent a half a million US Dollars on campaign financing to politicians and political parties. His payment he says was made in cash and material.
On Friday’s follow-up of the Aquamarine II case, the Prosecutor argued and demanded a prison sentence for Richardson of two years and a further four year ban on running for Public Office. Richardson attorney Sjamira Roseburg in defense of her client claimed that Richardson did not get a fair trial. Her argument was based on her client’s sentiments that it seems more like a personal attack on the former MP since he is the only one standing trial. Roseburg question why Taliesin director and former BTP Director are not here standing trial? Attorney Roseburg representing the former MP claimed she couldn’t properly defend her client because of the absence of Key witness and co-defendants not available for questioning she said there were no ‘equality of arms” and requested the court to declare the Prosecutor’s case against Richardson inadmissible.
The Court of First Instance will hand down its verdict on November 16th 2021.
Richardson was also condemned for money laundering and tax fraud charges in the case at Port St. Maarten where he was found guilty of having accepted close to 380,000 US Dollars as bribes. Richardson never admitted to any of these charges and has since appealed the sentence.
These Investigations by the Prosecutor’s Office revealed that some politicians are often busy wheeling and dealing in an attempt to enriching themselves instead of governing in the interest of the citizens and the Country. The former MP who should be representing the people, found himself entangled in a web of corruption cases involving money and may well be facing jail time.