St Kitts and Nevis PM discussed in UK corruption case

The prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis has been mentioned by a man fighting corruption allegation in the UK.

Property tycoon Peter Singh Virdee has been accused of bribing high-ranking Caribbean politicians after secretly taped telephone calls emerged in a High Court judgment issued last week.

Excerpts from the transcripts of the calls came to light in a judgment issued by the court that rejected Virdee’s attempt to overturn the National Crime Agency’s action.

Virdee and and his business associate Dieter Trutschler accuse the NCA of flouting the law when they were arrested by British police after an extradition request from Germany.

Both men deny any wrongdoing.

In one transcript, Virdee said that the “Antiguan energy minister” asked for money. To which Virdee said he had replied: “What do you mean, “I need two million”? You can’t just f****** take two million. You can’t just say, “I need two million because I did a lot of gravy.”

According to the judgment, Mr Virdee was recorded saying of the same minister: ‘he said to me “You promised my mum a car”. I said: “I have no problem in buying you a car.” The judgment then quotes Mr Virdee saying ‘[The minister] is obnoxious. I said to him, “Go f**** yourself…” ’

The judgment also records that Virdee told Trutschler that “the Prime Minister of St Kitts” was visiting, and he was “taking him and his entourage for dinner this evening, so be ready for a big bill”.

Lord Justice Holroyde and Mr Justice Dingemans said the NCA believed “the claimants were ready and willing to pay bribes, and had given at least one gift to a Caribbean politician”.

This was denied by Virdee and Trutschler, and the court emphasised that nothing in the judgment was a final adjudication of the precise meaning of the transcripts.

So far there has been no comment from the prime minister, Timothy Harris, or the opposition in St Kitts and Nevis on the matter.

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