NA-leader William Marlin strikes back: “Minister Lake is a pathological liar”

POSTED: 03/12/14 5:54 PM

St. Maarten – National Alliance leader William Marlin struck out at Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake in reaction to a press statement about the purchase of the Emilio Wilson Estate. Marlin created a mess and we have to clean it up, Lake said amongst many other things. During the Central Committee meeting on Thursday, Lake said that a letter signed by Marlin in which he confirms to Henri Brookson that the government would buy the estate, was never registered.

“Minister Lake is a pathological liar,” Marlin said at least twice during a press conference in the Mediaroom at the parliament building yesterday afternoon. “He lies to parliament and in press releases. Apparently, he has instructions from his party leader to play politics and to tear down a former minister. Everything the former minister has done is wrong.”

The most recent example of a lie, Marlin said, is the minister’s statement that a letter to Emilio Wilson Estate owner Henri Brookson – dated July 20, 2012, and signed by Marlin on correspondence paper of Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams – was not booked in at the Government Administration Building.

Marlin produced a copy of this letter showing that it was booked in under number 1114/2010. The letter confirms the government’s decision to buy the estate for $17 million. MP George Pantophlet asked for a copy of this letter during Thursday’s meeting and also the next day, when the parliament’s secretary-general Joseph Semeleer told him he had never received it.

Marlin outlined in detail how the decision to purchase had gone through the motions in the Council of Ministers, how the department of legal affairs was involved in the process and how it came about that he signed the letter to Brookson on correspondence paper of the prime minister. “The prime minister had left the island to attend an Aids conference and therefore the letter was sent to me as vice Prime Minister, on July 11, 2012,” Marlin explained.

Marlin once more contested the notion that the price of the estate has suddenly increased on his watch. The price per square meter ($45) never went up, Marlin said, but we simply wanted to buy much more of the estate.

Minister Lake has called the decision by the previous government – and in particular by Marlin – to agree to a purchase price of $17 million irresponsible. “This mess has been created by Minister Lake and his party leader Theo Heyliger,” Marlin said. “They decided to change the decision of the previous government and to peddle off part of the estate to Rain Forest Adventures. The government changed and the new government changed the budget. There is supposed to be continuity in government. Minister Lake and others disregarded commitments they already had. They refused to acknowledge the decision that was made. The Prime Minister knew about this and she should have said that they were heading in the wrong direction. The UP only wants one thing: to peddle off part of the estate to Rain Forest Adventures.”

Marlin said that there is “a fundamental difference between the promise we made (to buy practically the whole estate – ed.) and the direction this government is going. Minister Lake and his party leader created this mess. Minister Lake is trying to build a career by putting down someone else.””

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