BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – In the wake of the alleged security breach at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport by the Hon. Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd on Saturday (Mar. 30), the Minister categorically stated that it is a “big, big lie”.
Liburd was at the time making his presentation at the recently held People’s Action Movement’s 54th Convention in which he briefly addressed the allegation.
The alleged breach was aired on WINN FM by former Minister of National Security, Dwyer Astaphan during his Operation Rescue’s radio programme ‘The Operating Room’.
Astaphan claimed to have been reading from what he described as an incident report written by a female security officer who was involved in the matter.
He said that the report points to the Air and Sea Ports Minister, Hon. Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd refusing to submit to a security procedure at the airport.
Liburd however first denied the allegation when asked by a caller to his radio programme (Straight Talk).
“It is totally false, totally false! He exclaimed. “It is totally false and that is all I will say.”
Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris was also asked for a response on the allegation at one of his monthly press conferences.
“Like the Minister of Aviation, I don’t know of that. You know this is the season perhaps for rumour mongering,” the PM said.
However, during his presentation at PAM’s Convention, Liburd, who labelled Astaphan as “the pathologist”, again denied the allegation and claimed that the report was not authentic.
“Image, the pathologist in the Operating Room doctored the report, and the report wasn’t signed. The pathologist’s unsigned report made news and he went viral all around the world.
“The unsigned, doctored report read: Minister Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd breached the security at RLB’. That was the headline story.”
Minister Liburd further stated that the report contained false statements made with deliberate intent to deceive.
“...A big lie, a big, big lie! And you know up until this day nobody talked to me. And as the Minister Responsible for the Airport, not a soul talked with me, because they don’t want the truth.”
Liburd also took a swipe at WINN FM’s renowned journalists.
While acknowledging that they are good journalists, he lamented that “good journalism dictates that you must get as close as humanly possible to the truth. But they didn’t want to get close to the truth, so they ain’t talk to me.”
Reiterating that he did not breach the airport’s security, Liburd said: “It is enough therefore that as Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for the Airport, I have security clearance and I did not breach any security.
“I wish to state further that as Minister I have been charged with the responsibility for the Air and Sea Ports and I shall exercise general direction and control of those facilities in accordance with my constitutional duties given to me.”