Ambassador Casroy James Should Stand Down
Antiguan and Barbudan diplomat Casroy James is being called on to voluntarily step down after he admitted to receiving monies purported to be bribery payments, but which he said were legitimate fees for consultancy work.
Former National Security Minister of St Kitts & Nevis Dwyer Astaphan said that James, Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should at least demit office until the matter of the alleged bribery is resolved.
“At the least he should stand down until this matter clears ways if indeed it ever does. The government should invite him to stand down quietly and discreetly and if he doesn’t then stand him down. Show the world that we do things right around here,” Astaphan declared.
“If an individual has to go down because of wrong doing or an allegation of wrong doing or even if he or she is innocent of wrongdoing but the perception could linger…then the government has always to act in the public interest.”
Attorney at law Anthony Astaphan also gave OBSERVER media his view on what James’ next move should be. He said, “In his own personal interest and in the interest of the country…he should consider options available to him and make a decision that he thinks is in the best interest of himself, the government and the country.”
While he maintained that he did not intend to impugn James’ character the former minister said, “It is important to ask this. If the money received from the bank was properly received by him then why return it?”
With regard to James’ assertion that he received the money as Citizenship by investment Programme (CIP) agent, Dwyer Astaphan declared, “If he is an ambassador how can he still be a service provider for Antigua & Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment? Might there be a conflict of interest?”
Anthony Astaphan said that “there should be some regulation” to prevent any conflicts of interest for ambassadors occurring “so that when people take up the position they would be in absolutely no doubt as to how far they can go and how far they can carry those private interests”.
Dwyer Astaphan added, “I can’t help but wonder how thorough his due diligence was in checking out his potential client. You have to know your customer.”