Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has confirmed that his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has received money from an undisclosed overseas donor a midst growing speculation over whether the transaction was above-board.
However, the Grenadian leader has declined to disclose the amount of money received and the source of the funds.
Prime Minister Thomas was reacting to claims from opposition leader Dr. Keith Mitchell that US 150,000 was wired into the account of a senior Government Minister from a Saudi Arabian source.
Dr.Mitchell has suggested that the transaction may have been illegal.
But in an interview on the Government Information service (GIS) Friday morning show, Prime Minister Thomas says allegations of underhand dealings are much ado about nothing.
“People are making accusations. From time to time any political organizations would receive contributions. All the transactions I have done are above board”Prime Minister Thomas said on GIS TV.
“There is nothing to hide. This is normal. A contribution came through a banking institution. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Once it comes from a legitimate source and it is for the use of the (party) that’s part of the democratic process”.
Recently, Prime Minister Thomas denied receiving any money from Saudi Arabia and told a local television station that he is not aware that any of his ministers have.
However, on the GIS programme the Grenadian leader suggested that the money was received by what he termed a trust individual.
“Some of it does not come through any banking institution at all”the Prime Minister said.
“Of course we have nothing to hide if somebody wants to make a contribution to a political organization and make it through an individual within an organization …a trust worthy individual I see nothing wrong with that”.
The treasurer of the NDC Bernard Isaac has declined comment on the matter.
“I cannot comment on this right now. I need to seek clearance from the political leader” Isaac said when asked if the party had received money through a trusted individual.
Meantime, General Secretary Peter David said the NDC is unaware of the money in question being deposited into the party’s bank account.
“As general secretary of the party I must say that we have no knowledge of this issue” David told reporters.
“What I know is what I have heard through the media”.©