BVI News

‘My legacy must never be tied with suggestions of criminality’

Former Premier on the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government, Dr D Orlando Smith.

Former Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has forcefully rejected suggestions that elements within his previously governing National Democratic Party (NDP) administration may have been tied to acts of criminality in any way.

Dr Smith’s comments come in the wake of the release of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report.

Although, the territory’s former leader said he welcomed the report, he encouraged everyone to read it to draw their own conclusions regarding both its substance and style.

“The COI report criticises government officials for not carrying out sufficient due diligence. That in hindsight would be tantamount to poor governance. But it could never be elevated to criminality on the part of either the previous Financial Secretary or myself,” the former Premier said in a statement issued yesterday, May 9.

According to Dr Smith, while in hindsight, due diligence errors may have been made by his government, “at no time was there any act even remotely bordering on criminality committed on the part of myself or my colleagues”.

“At the end of the day,” the former Premier insisted, “this is my legacy which must never be tied up with suggestions of criminality on my part.”

I reject conclusions of serious dishonesty

Meanwhile, Dr Smith said he needed to ‘clear the air’ on the report’s findings in relation to BVI Airways and the suggestion that there may have been criminality on the part of those BVIslanders involved, including himself.

He referred specifically to a passage at page 374 of the COI’s report which found that the project was an example of poor governance on the part of the government due to a failure to require financial statements from BVI Airways; inadequate due diligence; and other examples of this kind.

The report, he noted, also suggests that from these criticisms of poor governance, it follows that some form of “serious dishonesty in relation to government officials may have taken place.”

“I wholly reject that conclusion – a conclusion that is not supported by any facts,” Dr Smith asserted.

We were let down by our advisor

“Moreover,” the former Premier continued, “I state categorically that at no time during the four years or so that my government was involved with the US promotors of BV Airways, in an effort to get the airline started, was there any criminal activity – deliberate or by accident on our part.”

Dr Smith said no facts have been alleged and no evidence shown which indicates otherwise. “The COI report itself does not set out justification for the suggestion that BVI government officials may have committed a crime,” he added.

He argued that in agreeing to make an investment in BVI Airways, his government relied on the advice of a trusted US lawyer and advisor of approximately 30 years of successive BVI governments.

“We were let down by this advisor,” Dr Smith said.

He continued: “As stated in the report, the project regretfully did not succeed. I as the Premier at the time immediately initiated legal and investigative activities to recover the monies that government had invested. This matter is still ongoing before the courts such that I will comment no further on it.”

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25 Comments

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  1. Forbidden Truth says:

    Go siddung olando, just go siddung.

    Like 35
    Dislike 19
    • Chupes says:

      You go sit down! You all rather believe bad and negative than the truth! Let the man defend his legacy! He is a great example of what a Premier should be!

      Like 23
      Dislike 31
  2. Indeed says:

    Well Dr. Smith, indeed no one wants their legacy to be tied with criminality. But the way it should work, is that if you’re in charge, and criminality goes down, you get left holding the bag (assuming you’re innocent). Why didn’t you know? If you did, why didn’t you do something. This is a small place. Everyone knows everyone else. There are rumors. You never investigated any? What about the missing millions related to Pier Park? No one ever brought to account, but you were the leader at the time. BVI Airlines, a deal too good to be true, yet you were duped into handing $ 7.2 million without asking questions? You’re supposed to be an educated man, with access to educated advisors. And, what about your alleged lot in Oil Nut Bay…did you pay market rate? I can’t see David Johnson giving you a sweet heart deal just because….and, sorry to sau, not doing due diligence does not absolve you from criminality if the due diligence would have revealed such…you know, like buying a cheap iPhone 13 because it fell off the back of a lorry. If you buy it, you participate in the crime.

    Like 62
    Dislike 6
    • Truth Seeker says:

      I speed from time to time and never ever got a ticket. Now I am all sanctimonious criticizing my neighbor who got a speeding ticket. You were never caught, Bossman! Go sit down and go back to sleep.

      Like 30
      Dislike 2
  3. Laura says:

    Dr Smith your legacy is what you’re worried about? With all due respect, you slept through your entire legacy and allowed all the criminality to rein. Politicians need to step up to the plate and admit that they were culpable in all aspects of went wrong with this country from the get go. The blame game days are over. Absolutely nothing will be the same; business will not proceed as usual; everything is under the microscope for all to see.

    The BVI needs a new legacy!!!!!

    Like 56
    Dislike 4
    • Mitch says:

      His statement is very disheartening. He’s all in admiration of himself amidst others downfall. He was pretending to sleep. He was the premier he knows exactly what went on in his government. Ask his wife and her brothers about NHI raid I mean a**se and they will act dumb. Every dog has their day.

      Like 14
      Dislike 1
  4. Steupp says:

    Yup brownie points expected to look like a savior. Some get caught earlier than some. You were a poor premier. Both ndp and VIP government are co**upt. No time to be looking face. Politicians in the bvi are a disgrace. It is one of the worst professions anyone can get associated with. You all are horrible people fronting and preying on the population.

    Like 33
    Dislike 2
  5. Tainted Legacy says:

    With all due respect Dr. D, your testimony at the COI hearings was damning. You had a fiduciary responsibility but A lot of wrong doings took place during your watch. Let the chips fall where they may; your legacy has been tainted. Let the criminal investigations begin!!!!

    Like 35
    Dislike 3
  6. heckler says:

    You let us down politically

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  7. Anonymous says:

    That’s what I’ve been saying all along. People are deeply emotionally invested and would prefer to think that all politicians are corrupt but the facts never showed any criminal conduct. All the COI did was showed bad governance, carelessness and the stupidity of government. I don’t know why it’s so hard to believe when you hire a doctor to run the finances of the territory. His application would not have been selected if he applied to run a small business outside of the medical field but here he was expected to manage the affairs of 30,000 people and the relationship with the international community.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  8. Maximus says:

    Said to phony emperor in Rome “The time for honoring yourself will come to an end in this life or the next.”

    Like 16
  9. page 689, COI Report says:

    Guess the Hon Doctor hasn’t read this far as yet….this is NOT about BVI Airways, but your entire watch, Sir.

    (on the Temporary Partial Suspension of the Constitution)
    “14.6 As will be clear, the problem lies with the role played in government by elected officials. I have most anxiously considered action short of temporarily denying elected officials that role by a partial suspension of the Constitution. However, although of course I do not say that all elected officials are dishonest, the information of conduct falling within paragraph 1 of my Terms of Reference spans different administrations and different parties. As things currently stand, I could have no confidence in a future elected government re-establishing adequate governance or bringing to an end the conditions which favour dishonesty involving public office holders. As I have indicated, my findings in relation to governance etc apply equally to the previous NDP administration; and the Constitution as it is currently framed lacks the robustness to prevent such conduct in the future.”

    In short, the conduct of some representatives and apathy of others operating within both of our only two viable political parties made the recommendation to partially suspend the Constitution a necessity. The people don’t know who we can trust to watch the henhouse.

    Like 18
  10. WE ALL KNOW says:

    WHO IS STILL BLOGGING SH*T / ALL YOU HYPOCRITES DOING IS PLAYING JUDGE ,JURY AND EXECUTIONER ON THE MAN ( THE COI HAVEN’T FOUND ANY CORRUPTION ON HIM , PLUS THE CASE IS ONGOING ) NOW GO LOOK IN
    THE MIRROR , HOPEFULLY IT WON’T BREAK

    Like 4
    Dislike 20
  11. Captain.. says:

    ‘Lando – look here, you allowed your subordinates to do what they wanted and you sat idly by and sipped your tea!! So how can you now claim, that you as the CAPTAIN of the NDP ship is blameless?!? Boss your hands are not clean either and when the dust settles the entire VI and world will know the truth about NATURE’s LITTLE SECRETS….🤐

    Like 15
    Dislike 4
  12. lol says:

    sir… what legacy!?

  13. UKM says:

    What legacy??? You were a poppet.

  14. Hmmmm.... says:

    Doesnt he have a house in Oil Nut Bay?

  15. unbelievable says:

    What about the complete betrayal of the BVI by the delinquent VIP Premier “honourable” Fahie? Ably assisted by the VIP, who incubated, indulged, promoted and defended him, finally elevating him to the top position from where he could suborn government appointees and comprehensively sell out the BVI for his own gain. whatever you think Orlando did, there is absolutely no comparison.

    • @unbelievable says:

      No one is forgetting the dishonorable Mr F; but think of it this way….when a person takes on the role of Leader, they enter into a kind of contract with the people to do their best for them. If corruption occurs during their time in office and nothing is done to stem it and protect the collective tax dollars and will of the people, that is a failure in leadership that is also a betrayal.

      We’re not comparing apples and oranges here, but two party apples of different sizes. Anyone who watched the COI hearings knows that both apples are rotten.

  16. patsyleak says:

    what about all the favours to your *** friends. all the belongerships allegedly handed out without any process to her favourites after irma

  17. Linda says:

    In addition to all the things contained in the COI report, Orlando, please explain the purchase of Prospect Reef Resort. Putting all those people out of work, allowing all the owners of the condos to be cheated out of their investments, allowing Cyril to get away clean and without any repercussions regarding the whole timeshare scheme, and letting the place fall into terrible disrepair?

    Why did you promise a state-of-the-art hospitality facility and then just never deliver? Did you think we’d forget if you sat on it long enough?

    You have a lot more to answer for than just those things listed in the COI. The purchase of some very iffy engines for the BVI Electricity Corporation and years of completely inadequate power supply comes to mind also. So please, just stop. Corruption ran deep in your government too!

  18. Pay attention says:

    Doc was the epitome of a leader.

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