PNP Mark Golding defends Bunting in FLA scandal role

People’s National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding has dismissed the notion of sanctions against Senator Peter Bunting for his role in the FLA Scandal, the granting of gun licences to two persons with criminal traces, for which he was cited in a special report to Parliament.

Golding, who is also the opposition leader, pushed back at critics who have called for Bunting’s resignation from the Senate and as shadow spokesman on national security, arguing that there are clear differences between Bunting’s cases and those of Robert Montague, who quit the Holness Cabinet late Friday night.

He insists that the Integrity Commission (IC) special report, which was tabled in Parliament last Tuesday, made “no allegation that Mr Bunting, as the then minister, in any way misdirected himself”.

“He explained the facts of each case. One never resulted in a charge at all, and the other was a situation where the conviction was expunged. So that was a legitimate exercise of his discretion. So to be insinuating that there was any improper motive or corruption is just inconsistent with the facts, and I don’t think that it helps the nation for false equivalence to be drawn in different cases,” Golding said in a Gleaner interview on the sidelines of Saturday’s official funeral for the late Dr Paul Robertson at the University Chapel.

“This is not a case where the people were involved in lotto scamming and so on. These were two cases, one which never went anywhere to begin with and the other where the law of the land expunged the conviction, and so the basis upon which the licence could be refused no longer existed.”

Legislation gives the national security minister, who is in charge of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), the discretionary power to recommend permits whether entirely of his own volition or on the recommendation of a review board.

‘No corruption’ | Lead Stories  Jamaica Gleaner

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