Manning mum on church

“I’m sorry, Sir. No interview with the media,” said Manning, when asked.

Manning has sought to distance himself from the project, repeatedly saying no official State funds were given to it, and on Monday in a statement claimed the construction was a private matter between the church and the contractor.

The church was being built for a private client (reportedly named as Rev Juliana Pena) by the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) which had at first been hired to do State mega-projects by Udecott — a State company working under the former Manning Government.

Manning had denied Udecott was involved as he had suggested former Udecott head Calder Hart was involved in a personal capacity, although documents displayed by the UNC had listed the client as Udecott. Meanwhile, Integrity Commission chairman, Dr Eric St Cyr, yesterday could not say whether or not Manning (or Hart) would be interviewed as a part of the investigation into the church.

St Cyr replied, “I couldn’t say. I don’t personally do the investigation”.

He said the Commission is urgently investigating the church but could not say when a report would be due.

St Cyr said, “We haven’t set a time-line. I think the matter is so much on the front burner that we will be going on quickly, but we haven’t set a target date”.

Asked if the Commission would work with other agencies investigating the church such as the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (ACIB), he said “No”, saying it would be done fully in-house by the Commission.

He confirmed that the Commission was also investigating the issue of former Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira and CL Financial, and the matter of former Health Minister Jerry Narace, and Trinre.


"Manning mum on church"

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