A number of past and present members of the House of Assembly (HOA) have been summoned to appear before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and are scheduled to give evidence throughout next week, starting Monday, June 14.
Those who have been summoned include the immediate past and present speakers of the House, Ingrid Moses Scatliffe and Julian Willock as well as the former and sitting Labour ministers, Dr Kedrick Pickering and Vincent Wheatley.
The past and present Education ministers Myron Walwyn and Dr Natalio Wheatley, the former and incumbent Health ministers Ronnie Skelton and Carvin Malone, as well as past and present junior ministers for Trade and Tourism are all scheduled to appear.
Premiers to appear
Premier Andrew Fahie as well as his immediate predecessor Dr D Orlando Smith were also summoned to give evidence to the COI next week.
In the meantime, hearings will kick off with all sitting members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and two others.
COI Secretary Steven Chandler said these upcoming hearings are particularly about the past and present HOA members’ “held and declared interests”.
“A number of issues have been raised by those representing participants in the COI which require resolution before the witness evidence can proceed, and in particular before the final order of witnesses can be determined,” Chandler said in press release on Thursday.
“The Commissioner will therefore hold a Directions hearing on Monday 14 June at 9 am to determine these issues. It is expected that witness evidence will commence at 10 am that day. The Commissioner intends that all the matters canvassed at the hearing will be live-streamed on the COI’s YouTube channel so that the BVI public can continue to follow the work of the COI,” he added.
The Commission of Inquiry (“the COI”) was issued on 19 January 2021 to look into whether corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty may have taken place amongst public, elected and statutory officials in recent years; and to make appropriate recommendations as to governance and the operation of the law enforcement and justice systems in the BVI. The Rt Hon Sir Gary Hickinbottom is the sole Commissioner.
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