BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 7th 2017 – Local radio station WINN 98.9 FM reported Sunday it had no response at news time, from Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris to a call by the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Denzil Douglas for him to resign as the scandal involving protection by the authorities of a Chinese fugitive on the Interpol wanted list gets regional and international coverage.
WINNFM noted that Dr. Douglas in a statement Friday accused Prime Minister Harris of rebuffing calls for cooperation with Interpol and China.
Dr. Douglas said: “Despite formal requests by China, as well as Interpol, to secure the return of Mr. Ren Biao from St. Kitts and Nevis to face prosecution in China, the current St. Kitts and Nevis government is refusing to cooperate.”
Dr. Douglas added that while the government has said there was no formal request from China, he was reliably informed that there had indeed been several requests to the Timothy Harris government from a Caribbean Head of State whose country has diplomatic relations with China.
Dr. Douglas said Prime Minister Harris has not heeded the urgings of his fellow Caribbean Heads of Government to cooperate with the Government of China and with Interpol.
He accused Prime Minister Harris of exposing the country to severe and multi-faceted consequences and of stoutly refusing to provide a full account of the matter or to revoke the passport of Mr. Biao and do all that is necessary to stem this international scandal.
Dr. Douglas concluded: “I therefore on behalf of the Opposition call upon the Prime Minister to tender his resignation and to allow our great country to move beyond the quagmire in which he has placed it.”
The Team Unity Administration in statement Wednesday (May 3) dismissed charges that it is protecting the Chinese national Ren Biao and denied that China has made a formal request to the government.
However, a Chinese diplomat in the Caribbean has accused Prime Minister Harris and his Attorney General Vincent Byron of lying as Chinese police spent a week in St. Kitts and Nevis with the full knowledge of the top security apparatus and officials of the Government.
China is also claiming that it made a formal request to St. Kitts and Nevis to handover the Chinese fugitive, Ren Biao, contradicting claims by Prime Minister Harris and his Attorney General, Hon. Vincent Byron.
CaribUpdate which first reported on the developing issue said Friday that Chinese diplomats indicated said they had made requests for the turnover of Ren Biao wanted in Beijing for fraud contradicting the claim by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Attorney General Vincent Byron.
“A high-ranking diplomat contacted CaribUpdate News overnight after hearing a report that quoted Attorney General Vincent Byron as saying there was no formal request. The diplomat said because Beijing has no formal relations with Basseterre, the request was made through a third party government,” the CaribUpdate report said Friday.
It added: “The diplomat also said that Chinese police spent a week in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis with the full knowledge of the country’s top security apparatus as well as officials of the Government.”
Attorney General Byron in an interview with WINFM said while he heard the report of undercover agents operating in the country he was troubled by it, if it was true.
“Byron is standing firm by the government’s policy not to handover the man and cited the need for due process,” the CaribUpdate story said.
A press release from the Office of Prime Minister Harris on Wednesday said: “The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is deeply concerned that the news story reported that undercover Chinese police officials interviewed the child of the alleged fugitive in St. Kitts in the absence of the parents. It is important to note that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has made no formal request to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in respect to this matter.”