Pat Robertson has used the fact that he was not prosecuted for fraud in his dealings with Operation Blessing to claim his innocence in the matter despite the fact that a commission looking into the charges found that he did, indeed, funnel money from the charity to a diamond mine in the Congo.
Robertson, or at least his charity Operation Blessing, is now considering legal action against Lara Zizic and David Turner, the filmmakers behind “Mission Congo”. The documentary made its debut this past Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film shines a light into the Robertson’s refugee charity and the shady dealings that went on there.
It was shown by the people who looked into the allegations that Robertson used “The 700 Club” to raise funds for Rwandan refugees who fled into the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), and then rather than buying medical supplies, diverted the money to purchasing diamond mining equipment.
The allegations were first reported by Bill Sizemore back in the 1990′s. The Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs then looked into the charity and found that Robertson “willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements and other implications.”
Robertson was never prosecuted for the wrongdoing, and he has since maintained his innocence because he was not prosecuted despite the amount of evidence that exists showing complicity on his part for the mining of conflict diamonds.
Chris Roslan, an Operation Blessing spokesman, claims that the “allegations in the production company’s film promotion, the listing on the film festival website and the story in The Guardian newspaper are false and defamatory. We are considering legal action against all offending parties.”
Unfortunately for Roslan, the fact that neither Operation Blessing nor Robertson himself have ever actually gone ahead and sued Sizemore for his story undermines the fact that there is anything false or defamatory in the reporting of the story. Several pilots have come forward, including some with documentary evidence, to say that the planes were not carrying medical or relief supplies to the Rwandan refugees.