BVI News

Former BVI prosecutor writes letter to Governor in Walwyn’s defense

A section of the perimeter wall outside Elmore Stoutt High School in Road Town. (Photo by BVI News)

Former BVI police prosecutor Jefferson Knight has written a letter addressed to Governor John Rankin stating that the recent arrest and charge of former Education Minister Myron Walwyn was unlawful because it violated a few local laws.

Walwyn was recently arrested and charged with Breach of Trust By a Public Officer. This comes months after the former legislator gave a statement to the Commission of Inquiry (COI), about his role in the controversial Elmore Stoutt High School Wall project, which reportedly suffered major cost overruns some years ago.

In his letter to Governor Rankin, Knight stated that, “the procedure which led to the arrest, detention, and charge of the Honourable Mr Myron Walwyn is fundamentally wrong under section 15 and 16 of the BVI Constitution, which guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms of an individual suspected of committing a criminal offence under the law of the BVI and under the criminal justice system of the BVI and of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.”

Knight argued that Walwyn’s arrest was unlawful because section 16 of the BVI’s Commission of Inquiry Act explicitly states that criminal charges shouldn’t be brought against persons based on testimonies they give to a Commission of Inquiry.

It is not clear whether Walwyn’s charge was based on his testimony before the COI.

COI has no right to order criminal investigations

Knight also said he believes the COI Commissioner has no legal right to order investigations against persons who testify before the Commission.

“In my legal opinion, the recommendations of the COI’s Commissioner to conduct criminal investigations into the Elmore Stoutt High School wall project, which have now led to criminal prosecution, is in breach and in contravention of section 16 of the COI Act, and in breach and in contravention of section 15 and 16 of the BVI Constitution,” Knight’s letter said.

He added: “The Commissioner of the COI has no jurisdiction under the COI Act to identify criminal conduct by public officials and public officers in governance and in the public service of the Crown and to recommend, criminal investigations and criminal prosecution, into such conduct.”

Before Walwyn appeared before the COI, the ESHS perimeter wall project was investigated by the former Police Commissioner Michael Matthews and the RVIPF. However, no charges were laid then and the police said the file was handed over the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for further investigation.

No legal right to hand over file to DPP?

Knight said the Police Commissioner could have started a case against Walwyn but had no legal right to hand the matter over to the DPP.

“Parliament did not enact any provision under the Police Act for the Commissioner of Police to submit to the DPP a case file relating to a criminal investigation,” he argued.

Knight also said section 59 of the BVI constitution does not give the DPP the legal right to take over “a criminal investigation from the Commissioner of Police.”

The case against Walwyn has sparked much public debate, especially after a statement the former Education Minister issued shortly after his arrest. Many say Walwyn had a right to issue a letter defending himself, while others believe he may have jeopardised the case being brought against him.

The DPP has also condemned the statement, calling it an attempt to influence the potential jurors who might hear the case.

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35 Comments

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  1. no contributions whats so ever says:

    Knight Ryder spent 20 years in the BVI living in the barracks

    Like 15
    Dislike 8
  2. Lawyer up says:

    This matter is profoundly unfair and unjustified to bring down hell on this man.

    Sure he was divisive as a politician and he didn’t know when to wait his turn for leadership. This should not become a bandwagon to heep blame on the man.

    A school wall is not the symbol of corruption or overspending. Pier park and the plane project was the worst project of the past 50 years.

    We not gonna fix the VI by taking the man down for a simple basic project. Don’t follow the hating trend, this man is overkill.

    Like 20
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  3. bvi says:

    Mr Knight you need to stop your foolishness, stop it, let justice take its course, stop your nonsense.

    Like 27
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  4. funny says:

    I think in my humble opinion that a member of the Privy Council is more learned in the letter of the law than this retired lawyer.

    Like 12
    Dislike 4
  5. No name says:

    @Lawyer up

    So in other words, those who were under his portfolio should take the blame?

    Like 7
    Dislike 3
  6. Explain to me says:

    Any person with objectivity could see that this case cannot stand. It doesn’t make any sense. It has been nothing but a witch hunt for years. It went from claiming money was stolen to the wall overpriced to now they did not follow procedure? Is a minister responsible for procedures? If things were done procedurally wrong does that mean it is criminal? If there was theft or fraud why not charge for that?
    All this is to prevent Myron from running. They want the yes men and women that are in government to remain so they could do what they want.
    say what you want about Andrew. Say what you want about Myron. Those two would have been giving the UK hell right now and so they had to try to get them out of the way. Andrew dig his own grave. They now trying to dig a shallow grave to put Myron in.

    Like 15
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  7. Bogus says:

    This whole wall story stink to high heaven to me. It coming to me like a spiteful and wicked act. The closer I look at it the more disgusting it appears. If a crime was committed why didn’t commissioner Matthew arrest and charge at that time back in 2020? A COI was called and now all of a sudden arrest are being made when the same COI is saying that a crime might have been committed but showed no proof. Is an administrative COI more conclusive than an actual police investigation? And then the COI people quickly went back to England to have themselves indemnified from civil suit for the report? If you write such a report you should be man enough to stand by what it says in a court of law. What kind of doctor jeckle and mr. hyde game is this? BOGUS WITCH HUNT! PURE EVIL AND WICKEDNESS

    Like 10
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  8. sue them says:

    I want Myron land a big law suit on them backside. This is pure nonsense and they know it. true corruption is when you use the law wrongly to hurt and spite citizens. This is what corruption is. I want to see the DPP and all of them embarrassed in court and then a law suit come after.

    Like 9
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  9. Richie says:

    Why are you trying this case in the public domain? Simply allow the system to do its work. If you feel the need to defend any accused get on board with that person’s legal team. Beyond that, it’s best to keep your opinion to yourself.

    Like 12
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  10. Evilness says:

    Mr. knight is giving factual information. This sounds like a setup. Go and look for the real criminals. We have so much unsolved murders in the BVI. Do you have any suspects for the last shooting in East End? Go and do real work. We never saw so much white officers before when we had murders to solve but now after a COI you have more of them than what ticks on a dog. They up to no good. WITCH HUNT! They tell lies in the COI report and now they have to create fictitious stories to back it up. They are the real criminals.

    Like 9
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  11. Official 2 says:

    Wellsa the BVIHS wall stimulus caused this case with the COI. 70 seventy or more contractors on that little wall, that went overbudget and not completed?
    Investigation needed.

    Like 13
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  12. ...... says:

    Two words. WITCH HUNT!

    Like 5
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  13. Only the truth says:

    Myron can’t hold a ministry he should not run

    Like 4
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  14. Ñot nice says:

    Mvw run don’t let any one stop You bro

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  15. Maverick says:

    I am not for the persecution nor prosecution of Mr. Walwyn. Based on the initial instructions given the Commissioner, no criminal case can arise solely from the evidence given at the enquiry. However, anybody of consequence can say to the police. I need for you to probe this school-wall-matter,there may be criminal liability and the Police set about and investigate the matter as any police report. But, in my humble opinion, this matter has been severely compromised by the DPP’s response to MW’s declaration. Those who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  16. AS THE PLOT THICKENS says:

    we care beginning to see the evilness that lurks within the minds of we black people and as this scenario unfolds, those snakes in the grass are being exposed for the world to see theie dirty faces / or what’s in the darkness will come to 💡 🤔

    Like 1
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  17. Status Quo says:

    It’s soon talking season. I don’t want to hear one politician talking about “the lil man”. Because Walwyn gave 70 local men work they trying to jail him. If he had given it to Jamesy / Crabbe or Yellow you wouldn’t hear no noise. Walwyn hope you learn your lesson, only big time contractors should eat!

    Like 5
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  18. VISION says:

    Jefferson Night full of s**t now. The audacity of this man interfering with a criminal case and writing to the Governor.

    Like 6
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  19. Knight is right! says:

    Great points Knight! There’s the rule against self incrimination. The COI cannot be used for criminal investigations. There are laws and procedures to be followed for that. There’s the rule to caution someone and let them know they being investigated and what they being investigated for when asking them questions and to tell them of their legal rights and indicating that what they say may be used against them. Knight is right. If the police has no case, the DPP is to send it back to them. That move right there proves there was no case. But no, after the fact, the DPP ask for the file so they could bring in their specialist team from the UK, through the DPPs own admission. Abuse of process all around. Then to add insult to injury, the DPP tried to sway the minds of any potential juror by claiming Walwyn did anything wrong by making a statement, when he did nothing wrong. It has been a witch hunt from the jump. And see who is involved AGAIN, the UK. So, the question right now is, WHO THE HELL IS THE DPP WORKING FOR. Whose dirty work are they carrying out. This is a grave injustice. They had complete disregard for one’s human rights to due process from the beginning all in the name if a witch hunt! The charge is illegal. The investigation is inadmissible for multiple breaches of PACE and multiple common law and statutory provisions on investigations and evidence, they have nearly demonstrated what you SHOULD NOT do and any conviction would be gravely unsafe and will have to be quashed, IF the charges even carry any weight (which it does not) or if they are even able to rely on anything of substance in putting forward their case (because there is no evidence of any elements of any crime, or else they would have found it long time ago. The timing is ESPECIALLY SUSPECT!

    Like 5
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  20. Check it out says:

    Ayo realize that they trying to kill Walwyn for making sure that the small man eat? You realize that? If one big contractor had gotten that eat there wouldn’t be no problem. We understand what going on in this place? Soon only the high rollers would be making money in this place. So 70 man eat instead of 1 and now we got to kill Walwyn

  21. Lock him up says:

    Fu**y man must be desperate if knight rider is his attorney

    Like 3
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  22. JEFFERSON says:

    This case started as a criminal investigation in 2019,then it ended up in the Commission of Inquiry.
    That is the issue here.
    Read the truth about how this matter unfolded.
    My candles are burning.My rosary is rolling and my holy water is sprinkling.
    Hon.Myron Walwyn,was only charged by the Police.He is not charged before the criminal court,for a criminal offence.
    God is love.

    Like 1
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  23. Rationale says:

    You’ve got it all twisted! Do you really think they’re trying to get at Myron because he helped 70 lil man to eat? Did it ever occur to you that some of those men ate without doing a stroke of work on that wall?
    Kelvin Thomas was arrested and charged in connection with this wall also. Do you wonder why?
    People like you and Jefferson Knoght need to wait for the court to deal with the matter.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  24. Jefferson Knight DOB 18.04.68 says:

    God will protect me, as always, from EVIL men.
    Cowardice will never be part of my DNA. The Governor, the COI, and the COP [shall] obey the BVI Laws! I served the people of the BVI with distinction for 24 years. I belong to the BVI.As a police detective, I was shot and seriously injured on BVI soil, serving my BVI people, in a shoot-out with an armed robber, while I saved the life of a BVI-Lander on 15th Aug 1999.I am suffering today, from that gunshot injury. God is merciful.
    At age 54, I live for God, and to do what is right in society. What I see on social media today, are many people with EVIL and Hatred for themselves, and for their own family, so they really do not have love for humanity. I cannot imagine myself, would hide behind a computer, with God watching over me, and would just insult a human being because of hatred.
    I wrote the letter to the Governor, from my conscience, as a trained and certified criminal investigator and criminal prosecutor; because I investigated the law, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens, and I looked at the facts surrounding this investigation etc.
    To first start the matter as a criminal investigation, then into a COI and then back to a Criminal investigation, is not fair for a future criminal trial.
    Hon, Walwyn is not a personal friend of mine. I have never voted for him, and the NDP because, I am VIP, now I am [any party]
    For persons, who know me personally, to use that good and honourable BVI.NEWS online, to insult me or the Hon. Walwyn, is not going to destroy either of us Freedom of speech is a guaranteed right. No one wants to write a news, but bloggers are quick to hide to bash the messenger Read the law that I high lighted! Forget about my personal life.
    Satan and the Devil are alive, and that is why there is EVIL in society.
    I pray to God everyday, to take me away from EVIL, that I don’t do EVIL and no one does EVIL to me and my beautiful grand children.
    When God is ready for me to depart this sinful life; God will guide me into eternity.
    The Evil that a man does to his brother, will return to him. No one is perfect. One Love.
    Democracy is alive.

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  25. @Jefferson Knight dob.... says:

    Amen! Thank you for allowing the Almighty to use you. May God continue to use his people.

    Like 6
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  26. ... says:

    He was arrested as he was found guilty (not suspected). The investigation leading to this was not a part of the COI investigation.

    Your friend messed up. As a former prosecutor you should know the difference.

    Like 3
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  27. Jefferson Knight says:

    Freedom of Speech in the BVI Constitution is guaranteed under section 23.
    This matter was brought to the public, by COP Matthews, the BVI Media, the COI and the DPP.
    The matter is not set for a Jury Trial in the High Court.
    As of 11th Nov.2022, the RVIPF had not laid a criminal complaint in the Magistrate’s summary court, to officially charge the Hon. Walwyn for a crime under the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act.
    I understand the Criminal Justice System, better than the DPP, than the Governor and the COP!
    This entire matter with Hon. Walwyn, is just an ABUSE of the Criminal Justice System!
    The COI has prejudiced the Evidence.
    You bloggers are just searching the EVIL inside you and just letting out your EVIL.
    I stayed in Police Barracks for my own safety. During the times I stayed in Barracks, the Administration of the Force, took my Housing Allowance, travel allowance, telephone allowance and National Security Allowance so I paid the force to stay in Barracks.
    I also had keys for 3 apartments and for other houses in the BVI. But I chose not to reside outside of police compound
    I was committed to my office on compound. I did not benefit financially by staying in Barracks, because my housing allowance and National Security Allowance etc were not paid to me, because of staying in barrack.
    Many of you EVIL policemen gave me enough words about that but this is a LIE.
    I only stayed there for my personal safety and for my availability close to the court where I worked and to my office on compound. God has blessed me; while men [try] to destroy me.
    I served my BVI well. I love my BVI people, despite of their nationality or political affiliation.
    I don’t support the NDP,but support JUSTICE!

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  28. Jefferson Knight says:

    RECOMMENDATION B21 of the COI-Recommendations.
    Sir Gary Hickinbotton said-
    “In respect of
    1.the Elmore Stoutt High School Perimeter Wall project
    2.the BVI Airways Project,
    I recommend that the [current criminal investigations] ( in which there are public officials) as persons of (interest) are allowed to run their course”.!!!
    Clearly, the COI is in BREACH of section 16 of the Act!!!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  29. Jefferson Knight says:

    Section 16 of the COI-Act states:-
    ” No statement made by any person who is called as a witness before any COI or any Commissioners appointed in pursuance of this Act, in answer to any question put by or before such commission or commissioners, shall. [except] in cases of indictments for perjury, be admissible in evidence in any proceeding, civil or CRIMINAL”!!

    According to the COI-Act, the testimony of the Auditor General, cannot be used in a future criminal prosecution!

    It has been prejudiced by the COI!!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  30. @Rationale says:

    Have you seen any proof other than talk that this happened? The charge against Hon. Walwyn and Lorna Stevens is apparently saying that they did not follow procedure. If people got contracts that didn’t do no work don’t you think that would be another charge? Think about it. This thing is a bomb job to assasinate Walwyn character. Did you hear that thing about people being paid for no work come up in the COI?
    Kelly going to put a law suit on them backside because the man did work and got paid. Stop making these wicked UK white people feed you all garbage. A lot of our locals helping them to destroy our own wrongfully.

    Like 2
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  31. Jefferson Knight says:

    That is a very good point, @ rationale. Failure to follow procedure, protocols and rules of a department is NOT a criminal offence.

    Ministers are subject to discipline by whatever disciplinary body.

    Government employees are subject to discipline under disciplinary laws.

    The police [cannot in law] under criminal law, charge a person, using a criminal law for the caption, as the [statement of offence] which quotes the section of the criminal law, but in the [particulars of offence] which expresses the act-of-offence, the police is saying, that the accused [“failed to properly adhere to government rules and protocols and failed to adhere to the Finance Management Act and failed to properly adhere to the Regulations”]?!

    That is NOT a lawful criminal charge!

    That is a MOCKERY and should NOT be accepted by the Magistrate in a [Court of Law].

    I am a certified and practical criminal investigator and criminal prosecutor. That charge is a MOCKERY!!

    The Criminal Justice System, will NOT be abused, by the DPP and the RVIPF in public office!

    I will report them to the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court!

    The DPP and the RVIPF, need to stop this lawlessness on the Citizens!

  32. Secret Bear says:

    Mr. Knight, like the rest of us, has not seen the indictment, so this is a complete joke. Does Mr. Knight think the police or DPP are stupid enough to arrest Mr. Walwyn on COI evidence that would simply be thrown out in court? Does he think this is going to get Mr. Walwyn to hire him to defend him? He might be sorely disappointed if this is representative of the kind of legal advice he can expect. Further, the COI did not “order” any investigations be held, it merely suggested they be held. The police conducted them as per usual, and furthermore, the ESHS wall investigation was active BEFORE the COI started.

  33. @Rationale says:

    You ain’t hear the man say this is a lie already. You all does hear what you want to hear.

  34. Jefferson Knight to Secret Bear says:

    COI-RECOMMENDATION B21 states:-“I (Commissioner of the COI-Sir Gary Hickinbottom; in respect of –

    1.[“The Elmore Stoutt High Scholl Perimeter Wall Project”]-

    2.The BVI Airways Project

    RECOMMEND that the [current] Criminal Investigations (in which there are PUBLIC OFFICIALS as persons of INTEREST) are (allowed) to run their course”.

    These are the words of the COI-Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom!

    During the COI, in 2021, no criminal investigator had testified under OATH, that there was a criminal investigation in progress, during the COI!

    How then, can Sir Hickinbotton,[RECOMMEND] that the Criminal Investigation into the ESHS Perimeter Wall Project, be allowed to run its course?!

    Listen: I conducted a proper investigation into this matter.

    Persons who are accused of committing criminal offence, have fundamental human rights and freedoms, and must get a fair hearing and a fair TRIAL!

    This COI-recommended charge, is an ABUSE of the Criminal Justice System and a CONTRAVENTION of fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms.

    We are in a democracy! NOT a DICTATORSHIP!

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