International anti-corruption agency, Global Witness recently released a report titled “Signed Away” which accuses members of Government, particularly Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, of failing to demand good terms during negotiations with ExxonMobil for the Stabroek Block, thereby leaving US$55B on the table.

Upon examining the report, the Coalition Government called it “baseless, agenda driven and sensationalist” while noting that the non-governmental organization has not provided a shred of evidence to support its “conjecture.”

Global Witness Investigator, Jonathan Gant, who was key to the production of the report, was challenged on Kaieteur Radio about the apparent lack of evidence the government highlighted. Gant was specifically asked to state why the pieces of evidence it used to inform of its conclusions were not attached to the report.

To this, the Global Witness Senior Campaigner said that this was not done so that it can protect the identity of its sources. He said that there were instances where evidence it received was actually published as no conditions came with them. In this regard, Gant noted that Global Witness received a brief from Trotman about his trip to Texas to meet ExxonMobil officials on the deal. This was mentioned in Signed Away.

Be that as it may, Gant stressed that for every accusation that was made; Global Witness has evidence to support it.

He added, “So the report has endnotes and if we made an accusation, we have a number next to so you can go to the endnotes and see if this came from evidence we have seen or an interview we did, or things that were provided to us and we were able to independently verify before using but didn’t publish because the source is concerned about their safety.”


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