A former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, yesterday launched a stout defence of his integrity, following questions over his involvement in a bribery scandal at the United Nations involving his country’s former Ambassador, Dr John Ashe.
Dr Ashe is accused of tax evasion and accepting bribes of over 1-million US dollars from Chinese investors in exchange for representing their interests before the UN.
Spencer, the MP for the constituency of St. John’s Rural West, told Parliament on Monday, that despite several suggestions, he did not seek to enrich himself personally from proceeds he received on behalf of the United Progressive Party, UPP administration.
The UPP was in charge of government at the time of Dr. Ashe’s alleged deeds and Spencer is accused of accepting over 2-hundred thousand US dollars in tainted money.
Spencer has admitted to asking Dr Ashe for and receiving his assistance to help finance his re-election campaign.
He declared he has no foreign accounts and has never abused his power for monetary gain.
As an example of his probity, the Opposition Leader pointed to his rejection of a 10-thousand EC dollar housing allowance, due to him when he was Prime Minister.
He also mentioned his daughter’s refusal to accept a national scholarship to pursue studies overseas.
Spencer said instead he opted for a loan to take care of his daughter’s educational expenses.