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Feb 15, 2024

Does Questionable 2020 Public Land Transactions Warrant Investigation?

Michael Peyrefitte

Outside the considerations of the Senate Special Select Committee, Peyrefitte was asked if he believes that the seventeen questionable government land transactions that occurred only weeks before the 2020 general elections warrant an investigation. As we reported, some eight hundred and fifty acres of public land were sold and seventeen titles were issued for them, all on November fourth 2020. These parcels are located in close proximity to the proposed site for the Portico cruise ship project. Here is how Peyrefitte responded.


Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, U.D.P.

“If you are a private individual, and attorney representing your client or whatever and you are engaged in transactions that has to be approved by the government, say for example, I buy a piece of land from you and I have to take that to the Natural Resources Ministry to get the transaction approved in terms of stamp duty or whatever. Or if I am buying land from the government and the government has to approve the sale of it, it was enunciated very well in a court appeals case recently, the responsibility lies on the government or the public official. You and I can do whatever we want to do, the government still has to approve it. So, you and I can get into a million ideas of what we want to do with government land or the transfer of land. All of that has to be stamped and approved by the government. So, if two private individuals gets into land transactions and it is approved by the government, then how can you blame those private individuals. In a case like that you will have to question the minister and those who approve it, yes. But that is not for this terms of reference with Portico, that is a separate thing all together. Whatever questions they want to ask Mr. Vallejos or the honorable Hugo Patt, just check the records. Go to the ministry of Natural Resources and ask them to produce the records of all transactions and the committee can have it.”

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