Friday, December 2, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

REPORT ON MEETING OF LDS LEADERS WITH PRESIDENT AT STATE HOUSE

The third meeting of LDS leaders with the President was held today at State House. The following is a brief report on items covered.

1. Suspension of Ministers connected to cases under investigation
LDS called for the suspension of two ministers who have been connected to cases which require investigation.

One is the case of Minister Charles Bastienne who has been alleged to have received payment from a Nepali businessman in respect of recruitment of Nepali security guards, reported in the media this week. LDS is submitting this case to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The other is in connection with a seizure of heroine on Praslin reported on SBC in which a link to Minister Mitcy Larue has been reported. This involves a police investigation. LDS believes that Mrs. Larue cannot continue as minister with oversight on police matters while this case is ongoing.

2. Investigation of DBS Loan schemes
LDS called for an investigation into loan schemes operated by Development Bank of Seychelles to check allegations of abuse and improper management.

3. Progress on issues raised in previous meetings.
The meeting reviewed the progress made on several issues of concern raised in previous meeting. Among the items covered:

i. Proposals for Reforms : The drafts for a Freedom of Information Bill and a new Seychelles Human Rights Commission Bill were presented and will now be taken up by the National Assembly. Progress is being made on several Constitutional and amendments which will be part of a package of reforms which to be brought to the Assembly by March next year. These will apply to Electoral Commission, Constitutional Appointments Authority, SBC , anti-Corruption Commission and several others.

ii. CSR Tax : The list of recipients of the CSR Tax will be revised for next year so that politically affiliated organisations (e.g. Jj Spirit Foundation) will not be eligible.

iii. Replacement of Mayor of Victoria : The Members of the National Assembly whose districts fall within Victoria will name a candidate for Mayor for appointment by the President until a new system for election of the Mayor is put in place together with district council elections in 2018.

iv. Cost of living and doing business : The mandate of the STC will be reviewed to direct it to the core goal of anchoring prices of commodities.

The Minister for Finance has taken up discussions with the telecommunications companies to reduce costs of services. Opening up the local market to other companies is being considered.

v. District Administration : Instructions have been issued to district administrators that district facilities should be open to all. MNAs will be entitled to use facilities for any function serving their constituents, such as meetings. without any charge. A reasonable fee will be charged for use by other parties.

4. Matters brought to the attention of LDS by the President.
i. Offices for MNAs . A programme of setting up offices for MNAs will begin next year. The order in which needs are addressed will be decided by leaders in the Assembly.

ii. Pensions for MNAs. A new Pension Scheme for MNAs will be presented to the National Assembly for consideration. They will be eligible for pensions at age 60 after serving one term or at age 55 after serving three full terms.

iii. 2017 Budget : The 2017 Budget will address measures to reduce the cost of living and to ensure inclusiveness in economic growth. A property tax for foreign owned properties will be introduced.


Roger Mancienne December 02, 2016

Chairman, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa

Monday, November 28, 2016

31 YEARS LATER - GERARD’S MURDER IS STILL AN “OPEN CASE”

31 years have passed since the young, popular exiled resistance Seychellois leader, Gerard Hoarau, was shot dead outside his home in London. 31 years and yet still no answers with regards as to who ordered and carried out this odious crime.


Gerard was not the only victim of politically motivated murders in Seychelles. The list is long and all the murders with the exception of Gerard’s were carried out on Seychellois soil and yet again we still have no answers as to who carried out those crimes. While South Africans have exorcised their demons through a public process of national reconciliation inspired by Bishop Desmond Tutu’s “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”, the regime in Seychelles has never bothered to initiate any public inquiries into any of the murders and disappearances of its political critics that occurred under their watch and in their own jurisdiction. Until they do so intelligent people can only assume one thing – they sanctioned those crimes and they are responsible for them.

Here we present you with some facts and ask some questions on Gerard’s case. Draw your own conclusions.

Fact: On 29th November 1985 Gerard Hoarau, President of the SNM and Head of the MPR was shot dead outside his home in London. The perpetrators of this heinous crime have still not been identified or apprehended:

Who ultimately ordered the assassination of Gerard Hoarau?
Who pulled the trigger of that Sterling sub-machine gun that emptied 33 bullets into Gerard’s body?

Fact: The British Police found out that Gerard’s movement were being monitored by sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment placed in a house next door to Gerard’s London home. That house was purchased by a company belonging to Mario Ricci who was acting as an agent of the Seychelles Government at the time.

Under whose direct instructions was Ricci acting upon?
Who hired Ian Withers and the three men who monitored Gerard’s movement on a 24 hour basis for months and eventually leading to his assassination?

Fact: Gerard was killed with a British made Sterling sub-machine gun. Those guns were standard issue to the riot control PMU squad of Seychelles Police prior to the illegal coup of 5th June 1977. These weapons were captured by the SPUP terrorists when they usurped power in the coup.

Who issued that weapon to the assassin and who used it to murder Gerard?
How was that weapon smuggled into Britain and how was it disposed of after it was used to carry out that dastardly act?

Fact: Three men were arrested by the British Police for carrying out an illegal electronic surveillance of Gerard’s activities. They were consequently prosecuted and convicted of perverting the course of public justice at the Old Bailey in London. Some interesting facts emerged from this case.
Scotland Yard Anti Terrorist Squad wanted to pursue leads that led to Seychelles. Their requests to follow those leads to collect evidence were refused by the illegal regime in Seychelles.

Why was Scotland Yard refused access to Seychelles?
Those three men reported directly to a notorious spy by the name of Ian Withers.
Who hired Ian Withers who was based and owned businesses in the Seychelles at the time?
One of the prosecuted men (a BT engineer by the name of Richards) revealed in evidence in court that the night before Gerard’s assassination, he turned up at the house to check on the equipment. When he tried to open the door, the other man Underwood who was in charge of the surveillance team, opened the door from the inside and told Richards that he could not enter because “one of their guys was inside the house” and he did not want Richards to see the person inside. Richards left without seeing who was inside. The next day Gerard was killed.

His current LinkedIn profile; British spy and MI5 agent?
Who was the mystery person that Underwood called “one of their guys”?
Why did Underwood not want Richards to see that person?
Was that person the one who ultimately shot and killed Gerard the next day?
Why did the prosecutor not ask Underwood to reveal in court, who was that person?
Did Scotland Yard officers investigating that crime, interrogate Underwood as to the description of that person?
If so does Scotland Yard know and hold a record of the description of that person and is that the reason that they wanted to follow their investigations in Seychelles?

When sentencing the three men, the British Judge Justice Potts at the Old Bailey, described their crime as vile and despicable and said that he believed that their actions had directly led to the death of an innocent man. He said that he wished that he could have given them a much more severe custodial sentence, but that regrettably he was constrained by the punishment stipulated the law relating to the specific charges against them. From the Honourable Judge’s comments it is clear that he saw a clear link between the surveillance activities and Gerard’s assassination. Therefore, the miscreants that authorised and financed that illegal surveillance activity of Gerard’s movements, were also those responsible for his murder.


Who were all the people behind that operation and who gave the ultimate order to open fire and kill Gerard Hoarau?
Margaret Thatcher meets Albert Rene at Downing Street in April 1985; a few months before Gerard is assassinated.
On the 5th of June 1977, Seychelles was taken by force by 33 men which included Chief Architect Albert Rene as referenced by Kevin Shillington’s official biography of the dictator. The biography states that Rene had begun planning for the coup immediately after the lost of the 1974 General Elections. The bloody coup was not an uprising or a revolution; they attempted an Orwellian twist of the truth to justify this act of terrorism.  A revolution is when the population rises up in revolt against the current authorities; not 33 opportunists! Shortly after this act of terror in 1977 and referenced on page 214 of the same biography it reads “evidenced by MI5 allocating one of their agents to keep constant watch on Rene`s daughter Pandora, who was studying for a degree in environmental science at Leicester Technical College. They feared her security might be threatened as a way of getting at her father”. Was this unnamed MI5 agent at that time a Mr Ian D. Withers? It is odd that British Government offered protection to a dictators daughter shortly after the coup!

GĂ©rard Hoarau’s murder remains an open case file, according to the British police, but in Seychelles, his death is an open wound that can never heal until the truth is told.

Monday, November 7, 2016

THE D`ARROS ISLAND SPECIAL RESERVE SCAM

The public`s call to be heard on the decision to turn D`Arros Island and Saint Joseph atoll into a “special reserve” has fallen on deaf ears. The Parti Lepep government will now allow the scam to go ahead.

It is common knowledge that Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, the Saudi national involved in the Plantation Club takeover scandal, is the person who presently has control over D'Arros Island, and is also the founder of Save Our Seas foundation. We know the special reserve is not being created because he is interested in conservation, but merely a smoke screen to extend his control over St. Joseph atoll for his own exclusive pleasure.


 Now he wants us Seychellois and our visitors to be further deprived of our patrimony, what bloody cheek! This is the same man who has blocked access to Val Mer beach in Baie Lazare, and has caused serious environmental damage in the reefs of D'Arros.

 
  He is a shark freak, alledgedly involved in chumming activities around our islands. A couple years back, two of his staff were devoured by shaks while chumming for their boss in the Grand Police bay area. A similar incident was repeated at D'Arros more recently, but the person involved survived his injuries this time. He obviously gets away with a lot of mischief with impunity because high government officials are well entertained at his luxury villas in Val Mer. Even his private jets have even been used by high government officials on their private overseas travels in the past. It all stinks of CORRUPTION at the highest level! It is high time that the message is passed to this Arab that SEYCHELLES IS FOR SEYCHELLOIS, NOT ARABS, and the time of his flouting our laws is OVER!


By Jacques Pool

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

DANNY FAURE BETRAYS OUR PUBLIC SERVICE

In his first actions as President, Danny Faure has betrayed the people who work in our public service and parastatal companies. With the appointments of political activists to senior leadership positions in these organizations, he has shown that the competence and commitment of professionals mean nothing. When it comes to promotion, it is those who have earned political favours who get the top jobs.

The appointments have put a whole crew of former Parti Lepep MNAs and failed National Assembly candidates in top positions of Principal Secretary or Director-General in the public service and as Chief Executives in state-owned companies.


The people who staff these organisations have made them their careers. The organizational charts of the organizations should show a clear career path to the top jobs so that people can see their way up the ladder. Promotion must be on merit.

The only acceptable way for appointment to the top jobs is through promotion within the ranks, or when vacancies occur that cannot be filled internally, through open recruitment. The vacancies should have been advertised for anyone to apply. Political cronyism is the wrong path to leadership.

In these actions, Mr. Faure has broken the principles to which he has just given his commitment. One of them is the separation of party and state interests. With the appointments, these organizations have been stuffed with political activists who will make them even more political. The objective of de-politicising the Public Service is out the window.

Even the appointments of three former ministerial candidates to the position of Secretary of State is wrong because that position has up to now been filled from public service ranks. They have come to be seen as administrative and not political positions.

One of the commitments which Mr. Faure has expressed is for the creation of a Public Service Commission which would regulate such matters as promotion. This has been endorsed precisely to make the point that appointments and promotions cannot be at the President’s pleasure. What is now the point?

Also damaged is the objective of national unity. It is clear we cannot build unity on political partisanship. After expressing the wish for national unity, Mr. Faure has turned the other way. 
For LDS, Mr. Faure has also broken the spirit of dialogue which he said he wanted to promote. Of particular significance are the appointments in state-owned organizations because such appointments were raised in the first meeting to promote dialogue. The state-owned organizations are meant to have their own Boards, which should be composed of members who can be independent. It is these Boards who should determine the appointment of Executive Officers.

The decisions on these appointments are enough to cast doubt on the sincerity of the declarations that Mr. Faure has made as President. As we have come to appreciate time and again, actions speak louder than words.


Roger Mancienne

Monday, October 31, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

APPOINTMENT OF POLITICIANS TO PUBLIC SERVICE POSTS VIOLATES PRINCIPLE OF DELINKING

Linyon Demokratik Seselwa expresses its disappointment that President Danny Faure has failed to apply cardinal principles of a democratic system in the appointment of top government officials announced yesterday.

In numerous instances, political figures have been named to positions in the public service, in clear violation of the separation of politics from the structure of the public service. These appointments are unfair to people who have chosen a career in the public service as professionals in that politicians are appointed over their heads, thus depriving them of the opportunity of promotion.

This is the case with the appointments of Mr. Patrick Herminie, Mrs. Marie-Louise Potter and Mr. Dick Esparon as Secretary of State, which is a public service position and presented as such in the announcement. Persons who have held this post up to now have been appointed from the public service and it has been regarded as the top of the career ladder for the public service.

Other political figures have been appointed to positions of Principal Secretary straight from politics. These include Mr. Kevin Vidot and Mrs. Jennifer Jasmin who were both members of the National Assembly for Parti Lepep, and Mr. Fabian Palmyre who was a candidate for the party in the last National Assembly elections. The same criticism applies to a former MNA, Ms. Cheryl Vengadasamy appointed as a Special Advisor, also a public service post, in the Police Department.

The proliferation of Special Advisor posts for persons with previous political connections is also a misuse the public service career structure.

These appointments come after President Faure has expressed his commitment to the delinking process which means the separation of the political and state structures, and also to the creation of a Public Service Commission which would regulate career issues such as promotion. What we are seeing is simply politicians being rewarded with posts in the civil service when the need to depart from such practices has been acknowledged and endorsed.


Roger Mancienne October 31, 2016

Chairman, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa

Sunday, October 30, 2016

MONKEY BUSINESS AT THE JUDICIARY

Judiciary is making a mockery of the constitution.

The provisional cause list of the next session of the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is set for 28 November to 9 December, discloses several cases to be heard by a panel of appeal justices that include Dr. Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah, despite the fact that the second five-year term of the Mauritian national’s appointment came to an end on 4 October 2016.


On 5 September 2011, the President of the Republic of Seychelles appointed Justice Domah for second and last of term of five years. The instrument of appointment reads:

WHEREAS you, SATYABHOOSHUN GUPT DOMAH, have been appointed as a JUSTICE OF APPEAL of the Seychelles Court of Appeal under Article 123 of the Constitution, and the said appointment will expire on the 3rd October 2011,

AND WHEREAS you are not a citizen of Seychelles,

AND WHEREAS further the Constitutional Appointments Authority has recommended to me that there are exceptional circumstances to appoint you as JUSTICE OF APPEAL for a second term of office,

NOW THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred to the President under article 131(4) of the Constitution, I, JAMES ALIX MICHEL, PRESIDENT, appoint you

                        SATYABHOOSHUN GUPT DOMAH

To be a JUSTICE OF APPEAL for a period of five years commencing on 4th October 2011.

GIVEN under my hand and the Public Seal of Seychelles at State House on this 5th day of September 2011.

 Article 131(1)(e) states: a person holding office of Justice of Appeal…….SHALL vacate that office in the case of a person who is not a citizen of Seychelles, at the end of the term for which the person was appointed.




So who authorised his extension to May 2017 in the face of the above. This is effectively a third term which is not allowed under the constitution. According to a communique from the judiciary, “this is due to the fact that a constitutional case delayed the expiry of his term of office. Therefore his term ends in May 2017”; what nonsense!

Did the CAA recommend this term or extension thereof to the President, and did the President re-appoint or extend his term of office until May 2017? Article 131 (4) "The President may, on the recommendation of the CAA in exceptional circumstances, appoint a person who is not a citizen of Seychelles and who has already completed one term of office as a Justice of Appeal or Judge for a second term of office, whether consecutive or not, of not more than seven years."

Barely a month ago, we all saw Mr. Danny Faure swear an oath of Allegiance to the Constitution and now if he allows this monkey business he will be violating his Constitutional and Presidential Oaths(both oaths were taken before the Chief Justice), and the Constitution. It must be remembered that a President can be removed for violation of the constitution. Remember that in 2011 when Mr. Dhanjee challenged Domah's  re-appointment the CAA had only recommended a further TWO years but President Michel gave him a fresh term of FIVE years.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

MERITON LAND SCANDAL

Minister Vincent Meriton’s daughter, Vladislava Vincentovna Meriton has bought land at Glacis; she is busy building. Going by her NIN number, she must have been made a citizen of Seychelles only four years ago. It is without doubt that someone high up the echelon of power has been behind the transfer because two portions of land (Parcels H10904 and H10906) had to be amalgamated into one (H10908) to suit lady Meriton. Minister Meriton, the papa of lady Meriton oversaw the whole transaction as per power of attorney vested in him by his daughter. Some people know how to get things done properly.

Was she ever on any list or as suspected did she bypass the list? Some original natural born Seychellois from the same district have been on the land bank list for over 15 years. These ordinary Seychellois were even told 5 years back that there was no government land available in this district; what a miracle for Lady Meriton.

Amalgamated and sold in the same day






There is a well published land allocation policy of the Parti lepep government of one piece of land per person, or if you have (private) land already you cannot get government land. Was this a stealth attempt to bypass this!

While many Seychellois find it hard to buy land from government even if they have the cash, others manage to do so without much hassle. The 1851 square meters of land has been transferred for a sum well below the market value of land. Is this anomaly enough to request the resignation of Minister Meriton?



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

LAWYER REQUESTS POLICE TO INVESTIGATE JUDGE

Judge Perera accused of the serious crime of forgery but no CAA investigations. This article is from Seychelles Weekly in 2007.

A criminal complaint was lodged with the police this week, against Supreme Court Judge A.R. Perera. The complaint was made by attorney, Mrs Alexia Antao. In her complaint, Mrs Antao has asked the police to conduct a criminal investigation of Judge Perera for forgery. According to the Penal Code anyone found guilty of forgery is liable to imprisonment of up to 3 years if convicted.

Alexia Amesbury then Antao and Judge Perera
 The complaint concerned proceedings and court records in a civil case dating back to October 2006. On October 17th at 10.00 am, court officials called a civil case with lawyer Philippe Boulle representing one party and Mr France Bonte representing the other side. The court record for the proceedings of that particular day was placed before Judge Perera for his signature. We reproduce below that record:

Mr Bonte: Your Lordship may I move in terms of my prayer.

Court (Judge Perera): There was an application for stay by Mr Boulle.

Mr Bonte: Your lordship if he has filed (sic) a reply now we take a date for ruling.

Court (Judge Perera): I will take an order on this. The case is fixed for ruling on 20th October 2006 at 9.00 am.

However, that proceeding does not appear on the records of that case. Instead, we have the following:

Mr Bonte: Your lordship may I move the motion be dismissed for want of appearance.

Court (Judge Perera): There was an application for stay by Mr Boulle.

Mr Bonte: Your lordship if he has failed to support the motion today, I move for dismissal.

Court (Judge Perera): The motion for stay of execution of judgment dated 22nd March 2006 was listed to be supported today. The parties are absent and unrepresented. On the application of counsel for the respondent, the motion is struck out.

This transcript was the one signed by Judge Perera as well as the court reporter. That last document, according to Mrs Antao, is the subject matter of the criminal investigation lodged by her with the police. Mrs Antao cites the Seychelles Penal Code which defines forgery as “the making of a false document with intent to defraud or to deceive”. The code goes on to elaborate what the “making of a false document” entails. Section 333 states:

Any person makes a false document who:

a)      makes a document purporting to be what  in fact it is not;

b)      alters a document without authority in such a manner that if the alteration had been authorised it would have altered the effect of the document;

c)       introduces into a document without authority whilst it is being drawn up matter which if it had been authorised would have altered the effect of the document.

In an exclusive interview, we asked Mrs Antao why she has brought the complaint against the judge when she had not been mentioned in the transcript. “It is precisely because my appearance for Mr Boulle has been removed from the proceedings that alerted me to something drastically wrong had taken place.” She said. According to the cause list, the case was to be heard at 10.30 am not 10.00 am. Below is a transcript of the entire proceeding as it is recorded on the tape:

Mr Bonte: Your Lordship may I move in terms of my prayer.

Court (Judge Perera): Mr Boulle is not here.

Mr Bonte: It is alright, may I move in terms of my prayer. We take a date for judgement.

Court (Judge Perera): There was an application for stay by Mr Boulle.

Mrs Antao:  Is it a case for Mr Boulle?

Court (Judge Perera): Yes

Mrs Antao: Can I stand for him? I am ready, willing and able but un-instructed.

Mr Bonte: Un-instructed. So sit down my friend. Let me go about my business.

Court (Judge Perera): There was an application for stay filed by Mr Boulle.

Mr Bonte: Yes.

Court (Judge Perera): With your reply.

Mr Bonte: Yes. Now we take a date for ruling.

Court: I will make an order on this. The case is fixed for ruling on 20th October at 9.00 am.

Judge Perera, a Sri Lankan by birth, arrived in Seychelles 25 years ago. At the time, the judiciary served the whims and fancy of the one party state dictatorship led by Mr Rene. Under the Constitution of the one-party state introduced in 1979, no one enjoyed the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms as we do today under the third Republic Constitution. The fundamental law was not even one-party state constitution but the constitution of the SPPF.

During his long career in Seychelles, Perera served a stint as Registrar of the Supreme Court. As a foreigner, Perera could only serve one term of seven years as a Supreme Court judge since, according to the Constitution of the Third Republic, he could not be reappointed. Perera somehow served two stints as Supreme Court Judge while still a foreigner. However, when his second term expired, Perera applied for and was granted citizenship, the consequence of which is life tenure as a Supreme Court judge. This sleight of hand has been condemned by Seychellois lawyers and politicians as an assault on the spirit of the constitution.

This is not the first time that Judge Perera has courted controversy in regard to court proceedings. In 1994 in a civil case brought by Ms Kathleen Pillay against the Russian airline Aeroflot and the Seychelles Government, Judge Perera ruled in favour of the Airline, which was represented by France Bonte. According to sworn affidavits  by two lawyers present in the court,  Ms Pillay stood up and shouted at the judge “Once again you have protected your post” and then stormed our of the court. According to these two lawyers in their affidavits, the lawyer for Aeroflot, Mr Bonte, addressed the court saying “My Lord this is a contempt of court”, to which Judge Perera replied, “I will report this matter to the Chief Justice” and then said to the stenographer, “Make a note of what has been said and I shall refer the matter to the chief Justice to deal with”.

The next day, however, Ms Pillay was served with a notice signed by Judge Perera, to appear before the Supreme Court two days later to show cause why she should not be dealt with for contempt of court.  However, when Ms Pillay applied for the transcript of the proceedings to prepare her defence, court officials informed her that Judge Perera refused to give back the file. Later, however, Ms Pillay received an extract of the proceedings from Judge Perera which had words, “Before I initiate proceedings for contempt” added.  During that time, in a sworn affidavit, Ms Pillay challenged the correctness of the record and said “… the extract provided to her was to the best of her information knowledge and belief, a false record of the proceedings”. Her allegation was further supported by the sworn affidavits of the two lawyers who were present in court on that day.

Earlier this year one of the parties in the case when Mr Boule was not present made a complaint against Judge Perera to the Constitutional Appointments Authority (CAA) to have the judge investigated by a tribunal for his conduct. When the complaint was given publicity by Nouvo  Vizyon Magazine, Perera inexplicably decided to offer an explanation to the magazine in a long letter justifying his action. In this letter, Judge Perera admitted to “recording the proceedings in chambers on the draft of the transcript of the earlier court proceedings.” Again according to him “that was no dishonest or corrupt, nor a falsification of record.”

Referring to her criminal complaint against Judge Perera the attorney, Mrs Antao, said “By his action, in my view, Judge Perera has shown that he has no integrity, is unfit to be a judge and I believe that in the eyes of the Seychellois people he has lost credibility as a judge. How many have won or lost their cases as a result of this kind of conduct. His conduct has further degraded the embattled judiciary. The judge has clearly become an embarrassment to our once reputable institution.”


This newspaper is of the view that if the authority concerned (CAA) does not intervene now and rescue the judiciary from itself, then they too would be responsible for the utter degradation of the judiciary unless such a judiciary serves another agenda contrary to that provided for by the Constitution.

Source: Seychelles Weekly 2007

NOTE:  There was never a tribunal for Judge Perera or any suspension by President James Michel. According to research the Judge was called to answer a few questions secretly behind closed doors by the then CAA Chairman France Bonte; this was a massive conflict of interest as Bonte was also implicated in the case. The investigations were buried even before it started.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

LDS CONDENMS SUSPENSION AND INVESTIGATION OF JUDGE KARUNAKARAN

PRESS RELEASE

Linyon Demokratik Seselwa condemns the decision of President James Michel to suspend Judge Durai Karunakaran and to initiate an investigation, through the Constitutional Appointments Authority, into matters which have not been specified relating to his decisions and conduct.

The decision of President Michel, taken at the request of Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey, is an unprecedented and unjustified attempt to subject the Judiciary to the control of the Executive.


LDS considers that the decision is politically motivated and a measure of retaliation because of recent rulings by Judge Karunakaran in controversial cases related to the electoral process which were not in the political interests of President Michel and the Parti Lepep.

Judge Karunakaran has served the country for more than 30 years in an office of great responsibility, as a Judge of the Supreme Court and also as Acting Chief Justice, without any allegation of impropriety or complaint against his professionalism. There is no doubt that the action against him at this time is connected to the recent cases in which he has been involved.

LDS calls on President Michel and all the leadership of Parti Lepep to respect the independence of the Judiciary and refrain from using the power of the Executive and state institutions to further political interests.


Roger Mancienne October 11, 2016

Chairman, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa

Sunday, October 9, 2016

SEYCHELLES PAST; THE DARK HISTORY

MASONIC MAFIA LINKED TO EDGWARE MURDER

The machine gunning of exiled Seychelles opposition leader Gerard Hoarau on the steps of his Edgware home last November was widely treated as yet another example of 'International Terrorism' at work. However, new evidence brought to light by French sources lifts the lid on a bizarre conspiracy involving the international heroin trade, the Mafia, a secret Masonic Order, and the would-be assassins of the Pope. Hoarau was the President of the Seychelles National Movement (SNM) and led the guerrilla 'Mouy6ment Pour La Resistance' (MPR), a right wing emigre coalition formed to overthrow the current government of the Indian Ocean micro state and its President France Albert Rene.

Since last February the SNM newspaper, the Seychelles Freedom Herald, published in London and smuggled in quantity to the Seychelles, has been waging a campaign against the influence of the Mafia in the archipelago—which has, been growing with President Rene's blessing. From its own investigations, supported by items in the Italian, American and British press, the SNM has concentrated its at- tack more and more on the man it considers to be the Mafia's key figure in the Seychelles, Mario Ricci.

Mario Ricci
 Aged 55 and a resident of the Seychelles for the past dozen years, Mr Ricci runs a large number of enterprises in the country, including hotels, housing developments and a tea company. Since June 1984 he has been officially accredited as Ambassador of the Order of the Knights Hospitalers of Malta to the Seychelles government. This American order is recognised by hardly any other country and has nothing to do with the charitable Rome-based Order of the Knights of Malta, but through it Mr Ricci enjoys diplomatic status and privileges, including immunity. He is also very close to President Rene, and sees him often.

In its last issue, dated September, the Seychelles Freedom Herald published letters from the Ministry of National Development in the Seychelles capital, Victoria, and from Barclays Bank showing that Mr Ricci had transferred nearly two million Seychelles rupees (about $271,000) to the ruling party, the Seychelles People's Progressive Front, in return for the indemnity of one of his Seychelles companies, Oceangate, received at its nationalisation in 1984. Oceangate, registered in Panama, received a cheque worth $500,000, when the normal practice in the Seychelles is for such indemnities to be paid in Treasury Bonds which cannot be cashed for many years.

The article ended with an announcement that "in a future issue the Herald in conjunction with an internationally famous publication, will expose on of the biggest financial scandals involving Rene and Ricci." Was this threat perhaps at the root of the decision to eliminate Gerard Hoarau? Hoarau knew Mario Ricci well. He spoke fluent Italian and became one of Mr Ricci's best friends when the latter arrived in the Seychelles. Their relationship developed over the years, and when Gerard Hoarau joined the opposition to the Rene regime, Mario Ricci partly funded the MPR, while re- maining on excellent terms with the President.

Albert Rene
At this point some of the wider ramifications became apparent. The MPR is attached to the shadowy French-based organisation, Confire'nce Inter- nationale des Resistances en Pays Occupis (CIRPO) run by extreme right wing publisher Pierre de Villemarest to ferment 'armed struggle' against Communist regimes across the world. It has a strong input from E. European emigre groups—including the current pretender to the throne of Albania—and is in touch with the S. African-backed NRM in Mozambique and the Nicaraguan Contras.

There has been speculation of some CIRPO involvement in the failed Seychelles coup attempt of four years ago.

During the preparations for the plot hatched in Room 412 of the Carlton Hotel in London in 1982, Mario Ricci gave Gerard Hoarau a credit card to enable him to pay expenses. But the room was bugged and in November 1982, the Seychelles radio broadcast recordings of the plotters' conversations. Gerard Hoarau was convinced that Mario Ricci organised the planting of the bugs and then passed on the recordings to President Rene. Even so, the two men continued to see each other regularly, their last meeting taking place in Switzerland a year ago.

However, by now convinced that Ricci was playing a double game, Hoarau must have then fallen out with his colleagues in the MPR and been threatening to expose the Mafiosi's drugs and currency operation in the Seychelles.

Gerard Hoarau had already exposed other scandals, amongst them that of the surprising protection extended by the Seychelles in 1984 to Francesco Pazienza, a Mafia big shot who was sought by the FBI, Interpol and the Italian police in connection with his supposed involvement in the P2 Masonic Lodge scandal and the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano in Italy and drug dealing in the United States. Pazienza was finally arrested in New York travelling under a false name on a Seychelles passport which he said had been given him by President Rene.

Pazienza was also alleged to be one of the controllers of the crazed Pontificide Mehemet Ali Agca—as part of a wider plot to 'destabilise' Italy in preparation for a fascist takeover, it will be watching his trial with interest.

Nick Reilly
Source: Indian Ocean Newsletter

NTERNATIONALT1MES VOL. 86 No 2. PAGE FOUR

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ANTI CORRUPTION COMMISSION

(Section 2 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2016) defines corrupt as follow:

"Corrupt" means the acts of soliciting, accepting, obtaining, giving, promising or offering of a gratification by way of a bribe or inducement, or the misuse or abuse of a public office for advantage or benefit for oneself or for another person, and "corruption" shall be construed accordingly;”

Party Lepep has created an “Anti-Corruption Commission,” to be chaired by none other than Duncan Gaswaga a former Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Seychelles. This raises several questions, the first of which is, why a Ugandan Mr. Danny Faure?


Bearing in mind the above definition of “corrupt” I ask the following questions:

If Mr. Gaswaga has acquired Seychellois nationality we need to be informed of that fact, and we also need to know whether it was under section 5 (2) of the Citizenship Act 1994 which gives the President total discretion to grant citizenship to a person who, in his opinion, special circumstances exist even if they are not otherwise entitled or eligible to Seychellois citizenship?

Or, was he granted Seychellois citizenship under section 5 (3) of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2013 which curtails the President’s discretion to grant citizenship by the imposition of a “Citizenship Eligibility Committee” to which all applications have to be submitted and which will have to be satisfied that all the criteria set out under the new section 5 (3) are met, especially when bearing in mind that a member of the Citizenship Eligibility Committee is Basil Hoareau who is a partner in the Chetty & Hoareau Chambers, and a member of the Commission emanates from there.

The credibility of the Commission depends on the personal integrity and honesty of its members. It is therefore of paramount importance that the above questions in regards to the Mr. Gaswaga are answered honestly. Secondly, if The Ruling Party is serious about fighting corruption, one of the first pieces of legislation to be brought before the sixth National Assembly is a “Freedom of Information Act”. Article 28 (4) “the State recognises the right of access by the public to information held by a public authority performing a governmental function subject to limitations contained in clause (2) and any law necessary in a democratic society”. And a Whistle Blowers Protection Act. Without these two pieces of legislation there can be no credible war against corruption.

Parti Lepep has given us other “commissions” before, such as the Human Rights Commission which has not been seen or heard of, since its creation. It did not even utter a squeak when Robert Banane was shot and killed in prison. We also have an office of “The Ombudsman” which, to all intents and purposes shut down after Judge Gustave Dodin left the office to become judge, not forgetting the notoriously embattled  Electoral Commission chaired by Mr. Gappy, which is not only  being fought  in court, but also on the Streets of Victoria.

Alexia G. Amesbury





Monday, October 3, 2016

DO WE NEED A VICE PRESIDENT?

Act 14 of 1996 amended the Constitution not only by giving us a new article 55(1) that reads as follows; “Where the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume the office of President for the unexpired term of the President with effect from the death, resignation or removal from office of the President.” but it also created the post of Vice-President by introducing a new article 66 (A) (1) “There shall be a Vice-President of Seychelles who shall perform the functions assigned to the Vice-President by the Constitution, an Act or the President.”

 However, the ruling party with its majority was not satisfied with this amendment, so in act 7 of 2000 they amended the constitution again. And gave us; Article 52 A (2) “The President may, at any time after the expiration of one year from the commencement of the President's first or second term of office, by Proclamation published in the Gazette, declare the President's intention of appealing to the People for a mandate to hold office, by election for a further term." As Mr. Faure is taking on the unexpired term of Mr James Michel`s mandate the earliest date that he can call for fresh Presidential election would be after December 20th 2016.

If Mr Faure does not get the National Assembly approval for the appointment of a Vice President and a Designated Minister; are we then looking at a scenario where he will run the country without those 2 constitutional appointees until he can have fresh Presidential elections?



Alexia G. Amesbury

Sunday, October 2, 2016

OPTIONS FOR DANNY FAURE

The people of Seychelles need to understand the Constitutional status of the country since the President’s announcement of his resignation and no one is filling the information void created.

So let’s see what the Constitution says. Article 55(1) “where the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume the office of President for the unexpired term of the President with effect from the death, resignation or removal from office of the President”.

Mr. Michel announced his resignation from Office of President on 27th September 2016 which resignation, will take effect on 16th October 2016 and also announced that Mr. Faure will run the country as President for the unexpired term of his presidency.

Article 66 (11) “Where the Vice-President assumes the office of the President under article 55 (1)-

(a)          The President (the new President?) shall, with the approval of the National Assembly, appoint a person to be Vice-President;

(b)          The person who at the time is designated Minister shall immediately cease to be designated Minister and the President (new President) shall designate a person, who may be the first-mentioned person, for approval by the National Assembly as designated Minister.

Two important questions presently preoccupy the people. The first is what happens if before the 16th of October 2016 President Michel dissolves the National Assembly? And the second question is “what will happen if the National Assembly does not give its approval for the appointment of a Vice-President?

The outgoing President cannot dissolve the National Assembly because the Vice-President who assumes the office of President under article 55(1) needs the National Assembly to approve the appointment of a Vice-President and a designated Minister.

The second question is equally clear article 66 (11)(a) “The President shall, (mandatory) with the approval of the National Assembly,….” Which means that the approval of the National Assembly must come before the appointment. So, if the National Assembly does not approve there can be no appointment.

Now for the third question what happens next?  Mr. Faure can break the Check Mate situation by;

(1)          Appointing someone from the Opposition to be his Vice-President who is presently an MNA because under article 66 A (5)  “A person who is a member of the National Assembly or the Judiciary shall upon becoming Vice-President cease to be a member of the National Assembly or Judiciary.”

(2)          Appointing someone from the Opposition who is not an MNA as his Vice-President.

(3)          Going back to the people by declaring another presidential election, because article 66 A (4) says “A candidate at an election for President shall designate a person as the candidate’s Vice-President and on the election of the candidate as President the person designated as Vice-President by the candidate becomes Vice-President”.

Option 3 above is contained in Act 14 of 1996 which allows the President to go back to the people for a fresh mandate before the expiration of the presidential term, and he does not need the approval of the National Assembly for his Vice-President.


Alexia G. Amesbury




Thursday, September 29, 2016

HOW SPPF ABUSED THE CONSTITUTION; Alexia Amesbury

In 1992, the people of Seychelles made history for the first time by rejecting, through  a  referendum  the  Constitution  that  SPPF  wanted  us  to  have.  In a second referendum in 1993, the people of Seychelles spoke again, when over 73% of the nation voted to adopt the current  Constitution as our Supreme Law.


In the Constitution that we,  the people of Seychelles voted on by 73% through a referendum, article 55 (1) says “Where the office of the President becomes vacant by reason of death, or resignation of the President or by reason of the President ceasing to hold office under article 53 or article 54 or article 110(3), the Minister  designated to discharge the functions of the office of President under article 75 shall discharge those functions until a person  is elected  under article 51 to the office of President”

The above provision is what the citizens of Seychelles voted for. In 1996 the Ruling Party, abused its majority in the National Assembly and amended the Article 55(1) to suit its political interests  and today this is what article 55(1) says : “Where the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume the office of President for the unexpired term of the President with effect from the death, resignation or removal from office of the President.”

What was the raison d’etre for the 1996 amendment when Article 79 (2) of the Constitution provides that “Where a person ceases to be a directly elected member of the National Assembly under Article 81, a by-election shall be held within 30 days of the person ceasing to be member of the National Assembly”. Why can an outgoing Member of the National Assembly not simply nominate his successor like Article 55 (1) permits the out going President to do in regards to a President?

In December 2015 James Michel and Danny Faure “the team” fought for re-election on one ticket. People voted for “the team”. What do we now have? An un elected President and un elected Vice President. Article 113 of the Constitution gives me the right to vote “In an election for the office of the President; at an election of a member of the National Assembly; or in a referendum held under this Constitution.”

If I have a right to vote for a new representative when my MNA resigns why should I lose my right to vote for a new President when the elected President ceases to be President for whatever reason?

In 2009 A High Level Panel Chaired by Mr. Chang-Sam proposed several amendments to the Constitution, one of which is, that the President should be a natural born Seychellois. These amendments were not debated on, nor adopted because they were not in the interest of the Ruling Party, particularly Mr. Faure whom it is alleged is born in Uganda and who must have had presidential ambitions as early as 2009.



Alexia G. Amesbury




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PRESS RELEASE


LINYON DEMOKRATIK SESELWA REJECTS HANDOVER OF PRESIDENCY AND CALLS FOR ELECTION

Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) rejects the handover of the Presidency from Mr. James Michel to Mr. Danny Faure and calls for a fresh Presidential election to allow the people of Seychelles to choose a President that will have a clear mandate to govern the country.

LDS makes the following statements in reaction to the decision by Mr. James Michel to resign as President with effect October 16th, 2016 and to handover the Presidency to Mr. Faure.

1. Mr. James Michel has not given clear and valid grounds for his decision to resign and hand over power. In entering the Presidential Election of December 2015, he gave the people of Seychelles a clear undertaking to serve a mandate of five years and it was on that basis that he was elected. While the Constitution provides for a handover of power upon the resignation of the President, this can only be reasonable on serious and valid grounds relating to incapacity to perform the duties required. It is not acceptable on the grounds that have been stated, only nine months after he was declared President, of passing responsibility for implementing the party’s program to a younger team. LDS is questioning the legality of this process.

2. Mr. Michel was declared President in December 2015 after a tightly contested election marred by illegal practices and failures in the electoral process. His mandate to govern the country on the basis of this election was itself uncertain. For his part, Mr. Danny Faure has no claim to any such mandate.

3. In the National Assembly elections held in September 2016, LDS gained an overall majority of the popular votes over the Parti Lepep. For this reason too, Mr. Faure cannot claim to have the support of the Seychellois people and therefore has no mandate to govern.

4. The practice of handing over power is in itself undemocratic and LDS has declared its intention to revise the Constitution to amend it in favour of acceptable democratic procedure. LDS cannot accept its use in a situation where democratic principles are not respected. The character, capability and fitness to govern of Mr. Danny Faure must be submitted to the decision of the people of Seychelles

5. Under the circumstances, it is necessary for the sake of our democracy to hold a new Presidential election in order for a President to be elected with a clear mandate to govern. LDS will use its position in the National Assembly to insist on a fresh Presidential election.

6. LDS believes it is of paramount importance that the new Presidential election is held promptly but with due regard for it to be organised properly in order for it to be fully credible. In that respect LDS calls for the appointment of a new Chairperson for the Electoral Commission and for the electoral regulations and practices to be reviewed in the light of the National Assembly elections.

7. LDS reiterates its firm commitment to the democratic process and the proper functioning of all institutions of the state and the government. It confirms its commitment to peace, stability and orderly elections in our country.

Roger Mancienne September 28, 2016

Chairman, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DEAR JAMES; OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

Firstly, I hope you are well. I also hope you dont mind me writing this letter to you; please know that it is written with the best intentions, with no ill will or malice.

I simply write as one Seychellois to another. A citizen of this country who has seen Seychelles persevere throughout the decades to the nation we now live in. The Seychelles you and I both call home.

We are both of an age where we have witnessed great changes in this country; some triumphant and some deplorable. In Seychelles’ short history as a nation so much has happened and every citizen has a different view of our past. However, as the adage goes, what is done, is done. Now it is time to look to the future of our island nation.

Despite the presidential elections of 2015 now over, the topic is still fervent on the minds of many of our fellow citizens. With the Constitutional Court case over, the issues raised are widely discussed amongst Seychellois. As a fellow Seychellois, I grew up on the streets of this country and Seychelles is in my blood. As a member of your generation, now I often find myself wondering how people will remember me; either as a mother, a friend, a professional and now as a political leader. I think now, my only wish is to have provided for those I care for, to have helped those who sought guidance and to have shown compassion for those who needed it. And as someone who often asks herself the same question, I felt compelled to sincerely enquire about the legacy you wish to leave when everything is said and done.

On the first day of polling last December, there was a photo taken of you and I (enclosed with this letter) which I'd like to bring your attention to. Your face in that picture is a very different portrayal of you than we've seen before and I believe it speaks volumes, because captured in that frame shows a man who is capable of genuine and demonstrable good as a President. It shows a more human side to you; a side which is often masked by politics.


Seychelles has borne witness to a great deal of pain - from the bloodshed of past decades and the subsequent hurting of our citizens, to the poverty, sickness, victimisation and miseducation which affects so many Seychellois if you open your eyes to their plight. There must be a time whereby you can reminisce and see the damage done to the people of Seychelles. With the current state of uncertainty shrouding the future of this nation, now must be the time where we reflect and think about the future of our people.

Your presidency will be remembered no matter what, but you need to decide how history will remember you. Leave a legacy which you can be truly proud of, and something that all the people of Seychelles will thank you for. You can leave a memory where you are seen as a figure of odium or one which shows a man of genuine compassion and statesmanship.

Now is an opportunity to truly see the people and to put the citizens of Seychelles first in everything you do. Presently the people of this country look to you. As a woman and as a mother, the thought sometimes crosses my mind that perhaps at times you have lost your way. Forgive me for saying this, it is only my opinion. But there is time to make amends - start by returning the assets of Seychelles to its people, regardless of whatever way they were taken; whether it be land or money or whatever else.

Cleanse the land and put things right. Have a memorial service for all those who have been lost to the violence from the Coup and it's following years; conduct a service in one of our stadiums, with their pictures and their families present so these souls can finally be put to rest. Give the people a chance to grieve. Erect a monument in their honour and engrave our lost citizens' names on it.

Have a moment with the people of Seychelles and truly connect with them. Promise them that none of the mistakes of the past will ever be repeated and give them a memory, something to hold on to, to rectify the injustices that so many have suffered.

It is time to leave behind, the people who constantly shield your eyes from the wrongdoing in this country. You need to see for yourself the pain and the suffering of the people in Seychelles.

There is some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us, and I would like to believe the same of you. All I ask in this letter is for you to reflect, and to use the good in you to create a lasting good legacy - something everyone will remember and thank you for. Forget the figures, forget the politics and forget the games - truly ask yourself what kind of legacy you would like to leave behind.

After all, when we leave this world, it does not matter the number of jets or cars or houses or property we have acquired. We all leave with nothing, so should we not leave some kind of positive memory instead?

Everyone thinks of their mortality; especially for those our age, it is a thought that comes to us all. In the case of Albert Rene, we must look back at the last years of his presidency. No one now remembers what they were, yet the decades preceding him are forever there. You have a golden opportunity, afforded to very few, to use your remaining time as president to make a resounding difference and leave more than what history has shown.

Life is full of miracles and God can do wonders. It is only possible though, by accepting the wrong done to the people of Seychelles and bringing real change. The healing process can only truly begin with an admission of wrong doing and a plea for forgiveness.

One of my personal aspirations when joining local politics was to heal the nation; I would like to invite you in joining me in this vision and to help the people bury the past in the right way and truly heal this country.

James, our differences matter but our country matters more, and that is why I am writing this letter to you. My destination is social justice, democracy and the rule of law, let us make the journey together. So let us as leaders take the first steps and start the healing process.

Kindest regards,

Alexia


Saturday, September 3, 2016

ALEXIA AMESBURY IS FURIOUS!

Dear Madam,

I write to set the records straight in regards to an incident that happened on Thursday 1st September 2016 at the Land Registry, which has been reported both by the SBC and the Nation News paper which is nothing short of defamatory of the three persons involved.

Firstly, Barnet Fanchette is a director of his company called TB Search that undertake work for those persons seeking their family tree (genealogy) and land Titles that their ancestors may have had. He is a methodical and prolific researcher who has travelled both to La Reunion and Mauritius in pursuit of his client’s instructions. The Land Registry is the place where most of his work is done and he knows almost all the personnel there. He knows the procedure for accessing documents and he also knows that land Titles are public documents and the Land registry a Public place.

On Thursday I gave him a document with the following parcel numbers and asked him to ascertain who is/are the owners, V 10428, V 10427, V 10426, V 17024, V 663, V 6081, V 662, V 661, V 6085, V 8311. It is believed that the eight parcels of land are owned by President Michel.

He visited the Land Registry with me and we gave the information to Priscilla and she informed us that the files were not in its place but she would trace the files and if we returned in the afternoon she would  let us know if she had traced the files.

That afternoon Barnet went to the Registry accompanied by Alexander Pierre  who wanted to find out whether indeed the JJ Spirit Building is on a plot of land that was purchased for One Rupee.  Bernard Sullivan simply accompanied Alex.

There is a video clip that has since been uploaded on the Seychelles Daily Facebook group that shows clearly what ensued.


video
The truth


The Nation lies


video
SBC Lies

If there was any kind of disturbance would the Land Registrar or some other person not have called in the security at the Independence House check-in counter? Priscilla asked all three to switch off their phones, which request was promptly complied with. At some stage Alex is clearly heard to be laughing. Is that the kind of scenario where there is violent abuse and assault? Priscilla is seen throwing a file down on the counter. This would suggest that the only person who lost her professionalism is Priscilla and no one else.

Whereas in the morning of the 1st of September 2016 the owner (s) of the ten parcels of land was in doubt after what happened to the three, it is now clear who owns those plots of land.

The three have been bailed for criminal trespass. Is the Land Registry not a public place? Is there a notice anywhere indicating that the place is private property and that special permission must be sought prior to entry? Criminal trespass is an offence where one must first be proved to have “trespassed”. The video clip shows Priscilla inviting the three into the “search area”. One must also enter with “an intention to commit a felony therein”. Priscilla had told Barnet to return in the afternoon to see whether she had found the files sought in the morning. And Alex is clearly heard to be asking for the file of the parcel of JJ Spirit Building, V16938 so, was their intention, to steal files, assault and commit acts of violence?

Why are the ten files missing from their usual place? Is the land registry not the depository of all land documents? Why did Priscilla have to go into an inner office with the list of ten plots of land in the morning when I was there?

Based on what happened, and the false accusations leveled at the three, I can now safely assume that the ten plots of land are owned by President Michel or some other person (s) or entity with close ties with PL and I feel justified in asking whether the ten plots of land form part of the “aki” and “gain’ that he and Vice President Danny Faure wants to protect when he asks the Nation to vote for PL MNAs?




Alexia G. Amesbury