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Integrity Commission mum on Panday

by Earl Manmohan

The Integrity Commission (IC) has refused to answer questions by Newsday on the London bank account held by UNC leader Basdeo Panday.

Newsday had faxed five questions to Chairman Gerald des Iles on June 14 seeking to know whether Panday was granted an extension by the Commission to provide it with answers to its queries on the account. In the event the period of extension had already expired, Newsday asked whether the UNC leader had met the new deadline date.

Newsday also wanted to know whether the Commission was satisfied with the response given by Panday with respect to the matter under investigation, and if it wasn't, was any further action taken, or contemplated.

IC Acting Register Albert Alkins replying on behalf of the Chairman told Newsday that by Section 20 of the Integrity in Public Life Act, 2000 "Declarations filed with the Commission and the records of the Commission in respect of those declarations are secret and confidential and shall not be made public" except in certain specific circumstances as stipulated in the Act. Alkins said none of the five questions posed by Newsday in its letter fell within the permitted exceptions under the Act and the Commission was accordingly unable to comply with its request.

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