To some extent, Tuesday’s press conference was to have been the Arthur Saldivar Show. The intrepid attorney had been dominating headlines for much of last week after claiming to have recovered over 150 files he says were destined to be burned by the Immigration and Nationality Department in an attempt to cover up wrongdoing by its officials and by Elvin Penner. He had been handing them out in dribs and drabs but when the authorities cottoned on and public calls began for him to turn over the material – accompanied by suggestions of warrants for searching his house and arresting him – the game was up. Mr Saldivar went out with a flourish on home ground, explaining that he was now going to do the right thing.
“It’s out of my hands now; it’s out of my hands. It’s time for it to go where it needs to go, the public has been given the information and it’s within the public domain. Now it’s for the authorities to do what they must do. It’s out of my hands now,”
Reporter: “Were you restrained from presenting this at the PUP’s press conference?
Mr. Arthur Saldivar: “No, I was not”.
Reporter: “But with documents like these, do you think the Opposition will ease off?
Mr. Arthur Saldivar: “I am here to support the party leader in relation to the issues, in relation to recall and to other issues affecting the country right now, relating to what the Prime Minister brought forward in his press conference and ultimately, this is simply to tie up all that has transpired…and to basically get rid of the documents, put it in the right persons, and ensure that the public to determine how it goes from here”.
Arthur Saldivar derided suggestions that the files were tainted by his handling of them.
Mr. Arthur Saldivar:
“It is ridiculous. What was slated for destruction cannot form any chain to be destroyed. I cannot be the person to be blamed for that. I salvaged important documents for people to be able to see exactly what was taking place at the Immigration Department which otherwise would not have gotten anybody to see. Be thankful, thanks to the good Lord for the small mercies.
As we reported on Tuesday, Arthur Saldivar had chosen not to speak at the PUP press conference of his own choosing, though when asked PUP leader Francis Fonseca said he had no play in Mr Saldivar’s caper and would advise Mr Saldivar to turn over the files to police. Arthur Saldivar’s adviser, PUP stalwart and Commissioner of the Supreme Court Winston Smiling, could be audibly heard admonishing Mr Saldivar not to answer questions from the press but he was undaunted. Shortly after the PUP press conference concluded around 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Arthur Saldivar visited Queen Street Police Station, just down the block and met with police officials. There were suggestions that he would be detained and PUP supporters lined the street outside, but it appears he was simply made to wait a short time and then sent up to Criminal Investigation Branch to make a report. We spoke to him after that.
“Well, there was an inventory done…the documents that were found…and…they were duly recorded, the police were satisfied that they were in the original state, and let’s see where it goes from here.
Reporter: “You mean if the documents will be useful if the Government holds a meaningful investigation…an independent investigation?
Mr. Arthur Saldivar: “Well, we can only hope and certainly everything has been done to make sure that that happens. From now I end, as much as I could do, I’ve done. Ultimately, what we have to over is that the Prime Minister has basically engaged in deliberate process to cover up the wrongdoing that he is responsible for which was to empower Penner without the Constitutional authority to do so, and now the focus shifts on the Prime Minister…because he must resign; he cannot continue to hold the position he has”.