Sunday, April 21, 2024

Parris a pal


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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says he’s prepared to let the law take its course with regard to the $10 million lawsuit filed by former chairman Leroy Parris against CLICO.
But, in making his contribution to the 2011-2012 Estimates debate in the House of Assembly yesterday, Stuart also made it clear that he was not about to shun Parris.
In fact, he described Parris as a long-time friend and a one-time client who was definitely not a “leper”. 
“I don’t disown him. He’s not a leper. I don’t agree with everything he does. I have never agreed with everything he’s done, but like all other Barbadians he has worked his way up and he has had his ups and downs. But he is not a leper,” the Prime Minister said.
Stuart also noted that if “that estimable gentleman has sued the company for which he has worked, that is a matter the judges will decide”.
Stuart said he himself had a vested interest in CLICO’s recovery and success, and that it would not help to try to exploit a photograph of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler talking to Parris at the just run Gold Cup horse racing event.
Earlier this month, lawyers for Parris filed writs in the High Court claiming more than $10 million from CLICO Holdings (Barbados) and CLICO International Life Insurance.
According to one writ, to date Parris received about $3.5 million from the company starting with a payment of just over $3.5 million in January 2009 and four payments of $30 000 each last year, the last being paid November 24.
The Prime Minister told MPs that if CLICO had been the only conglomerate to experience collapse in the last two years, he would join in the criticism but he had also seen prestigious companies in North America and Europe fall.
He said the Government was committed “to ensuring that at the level of principal  . . .  ‘pal’ not ‘ple’  . . . the commitment of the Government is to ensure that people get their principal investments in CLICO. I do not resile from that”.

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