BVI News

Premier not saying if gov’t will help Willock with fees till he reads HOA report

Former Speaker, Julian Willock

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has declined to indicate whether his government will assist with former House Speaker Julian Willock‘s nearly $98,000 in legal fees that arose from an aborted court injunction against three Commission of Inquiry (COI) lawyers.

The Premier has instead promised to study a Special Parliamentary Committee report on the matter before making a decision.

Committee’s findings

The committee, established by former Premier Andrew Fahie to determine whether Willock should shoulder those costs, issued a report in the HOA last Thursday announcing that Willock usurped the Attorney General’s role and was therefore responsible for the fees.

Willock’s attorneys, Silk Legal, told the committee they received verbal instructions from the former Premier to pursue the legal matter with Willock taking the helm.

However, when asked last Friday whether his government will assist Willock with those fees given the new development that the Speaker was following Fahie’s instructions, Premier Wheatley said he would have to take a look at the document laid in the HOA by the committee.

“Once I sit down and read the document, I will be able to provide an answer to you,” Premier Wheatley told the media. “But I would like to see what the report says and read it in depth before I answer that particular question.“

Meanwhile, Willock had claimed after he was made to resign from his post as Speaker, that he was being made a ‘sacrificial lamb’. He made that statement in the context of negotiations between the government and the United Kingdom over the COI report’s recommendations.

Dr Wheatley was also asked at the time whether he felt this was the case given the new revelations, but he declined to respond on that issue as well.

Background

The High Court had deemed Willock personally liable for legal fees incurred last year after an aborted injunction he filed against the aforementioned COI lawyers.

The injunction, which never received the express permission of the House of Assembly (HOA) or the Attorney General, sought to prevent the three attorneys from continuing their work with the COI unless and until they were called to the BVI Bar.

Willock felt the attorneys were illegally practising law in the BVI since they were not called to the bar at the time, as required by law. The former Premier initially tried to outrightly exempt the Speaker from paying those legal costs but changed course after significant public blowback.

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33 Comments

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  1. I REPEAT says:

    THAT BILL IS TO BE PAID BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE AND NOT JULIAN WILLOCK

    Like 2
    Dislike 51
    • Trout says:

      We need to change the titles of our elected officials. Premier is a term that is used by narco states and dictators. Our leader doesn’t have diplomatic rights. He or ideally she is just a manager or administrator. Let’s think of something humble and friendly. Right? We need our new leader to be the cool champion of our new economy.

  2. in all fairness says:

    This man was coerced by both the former premier and deputy speaker so he should not bare the cross alone

    Like 9
    Dislike 35
  3. Test says:

    for the Unity party in the HOA. Wrong decision and your ‘party’ and its 12 people are gone. UK direct rule clock is ticking so make the correct decision this week!

    Like 25
    Dislike 2
  4. Gus Gus says:

    Help? the only help he needs is assistance to find the office of a shrink

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
  5. Styles. says:

    When I read the title I thought they were speaking of Andrew.

    Obviously he is no longer the premier, but the new one appears to be exactly the same.

    Bring in the U.K. please. This new unity govt is just the bloody same.

    Like 36
    Dislike 6
  6. Rizzo says:

    A new party, old tricks.

    What’s there to be understood? The court says it’s his bill to pay, so it’s HIS BILL TO PAY. Nothing is wrong if government members want to assist their buddy, but let it be from their PERSONAL accounts and not at taxpayers’ expense.

    Like 50
    Dislike 1
  7. Jack says:

    What’s the big deal the esteemed bill must be paid just like you all paid the white governor

    Like 5
    Dislike 24
  8. BviBuzz says:

    Pay the d**m bill unity government from up and down with this c**p

    Like 7
    Dislike 16
  9. Elsa says:

    The lawyer did say that he received several verbal instructions to act (although he was not wise enough to get this in writing.) I believe the former Speaker was also instructed verbally, so he should receive assistance with the bill. Pay it from the funds you are paying the district 1 representative who is unable to perform his duties, and should therefore not be paid.

  10. BVI says:

    Fahie salary should be used to pay that bill.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  11. All advocating UK take over. says:

    What right, and or how did you AND UK derive from any human institution, or any divine ordinance, to subject the BVIslander all over again to brutal humanity, heartless racism and any hope of ruling themselves??

    Do they not have that natural human right?

    Every day those white british people with hate in their hearts and greed in their minds are on media seeking to take away the aspirations of a people to be free to chose their future and to be free from tyranny.

    Like 1
    Dislike 23
  12. Common sense says:

    If the government assist with the payment in anyway whatsoever, these politicians are still unfit to decide anything and this so called unity government is no different to the garbage governments we have lived with in the past.

    Like 13
  13. Resident says:

    Is the BVI Government paying, or has it paid, for Fahie’s criminal defence costs, directly or indirectly?

  14. Licker and Sticker says:

    If the Slow Wande and the Unity Scamers pay 1 dollar contribution towards Wiggie’s legal fees they need to be hauled out of office by the draw string of the undies, wedgie style.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  15. DropDeBall!!! says:

    That was such an easy win. A firm NO and you’d have been a winner, SlowAndy. Now you look just all who came before you.

  16. tax payer says:

    I dont think the people of the BVI want to pay his legal costs, so i dont think its up to the sitting government to make a decision on the committee has spoken. implement what committee has ruled .

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  17. Anonymous says:

    If this unity government do not pay this bill and leave our speaker out there i will ensure not one of them is returned to our house of assembly

    MARK MY WORDS

    Like 1
    Dislike 9
  18. Sambo says:

    Why we hate our own and ourselves so much? The UK needs to be shame of itself; it is a brazen in your face exercise of unilateral action and you can’t do a thing about. It is a Might is Right colonialism philosophy.

    Let’s look at the logic. Controversial and r…t UK-appointed Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert going out the door after a shortened tour handpicked Sir Gary Hickinbottom to conduct a commission of inquiry on BVI governing practices as a parting gift. The current UK-appointed Governor who was in only in the territory for a microsecond was called to testify, representing the UK and as an integral part of the commission of inquiry. Here is a news flash. The UK-appointed governor is not on site to represent the BVI people. He is on site to represent the UK’s interest. I dare someone to provide the facts to counter my assertion.

    So the UK-appointed Governor commissioned a commission of inquiry and now the BVI people/BVI taxpayers are being forced to pay a $44K for Governor John Rankin’s appearance before the commission of inquiry. Is the reverse true here or it is a one way street. For example, if the BVI government were to file issues with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to redress some issues of concern to it, will the UK government foot the bill? By the way, there is no daylight between UK-appointed- Governors and the Foreign and Commonwealth. It is a clear that the decision/ outcome, ie, suspend the WTF! This is nuts! This is crusading! The UK needs to be shame of itself; it is a brazen in your face exercise of unilateral action and you can’t do a thing about. It is a Might is Right colonialism philosophy. Let’s look at the logic. Controversial and r…t UK-appointed Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert going out the door after a shorten tour handpicked Sir Gary Hickinbottom to conduct a commission of inquiry on BVI governing practices. The current UK-appointed Governor who was in only in the territory for a microsecond was called to testify, representing the UK and an integral part of the commission of inquiry. Here is a news flash. The UK-appointed is not on site to represent the BVI people. He is on site to represent the UK interest. I dare someone to provide the facts to counter my assertion. So the UK-appointed Governor commissioned a commission of inquiry and now the BVI people are being forced to pay a $44K for Governor John Rankin’s appearance before the commission of inquiry. Is the reverse true here or it is a one way street. For example, if the BVI government were to file issues with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to redress some issues of concern to it, will the UK government foot the bill? By the way, there is no daylight between UK-appointed- Governors and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    It is a clear that the decision/ outcome, ie, suspend the constitution, of the commission of inquiry was determine before hand. An objective perusal of the commission of inquiry would conclude that the drastic recommendation to suspend the constitution and imposed direct rule, among other recommendations was made on subjective opinions and vague non-concrete phrases, not objective facts. This Unity Government is so obsequious to the UK-governor, bending the knee and kissing the ring that it and which is one and the same do not have the balls to do the fair and equal thing. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Assuming that former Speaker Willock may not have properly dot the I’s and cross the T’s in regards to CoI lawyers practicing law in the VI without a license as asserted by the AC, the HOA can ratify the action that was taken on behalf of the HOA in the capacity and pay the legal bill. But the Sambid lacked the courage to pay Willock’sbill but will rush to gladly pay Rankin’s. This is nuts. This is crusading. It is a WTF moment.

    The commission of inquiry was a Kangroo Court and a cabal. I will get many dislikes by Sambos and others for my brash, truthful and candid comments but I don’t give a rat’s @#$ or a flying %^…. Who bex, bex.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
    • @Sambo says:

      @Sambo, you are a racist, worthless piece of s**t who call down your own people. You are a useless, worthless, SOB. But it seems as if you are not alone with your senseless nonsense, for others support you. How can the BVI get any better with people like you and your sick friends who are like lost sheep, going clean off the cliff. Sad times and no hope for the BVI with this type of attitude.

  19. Hard working citizen says:

    What happened to transparency!?

  20. Rattie says:

    Free the drew and pay Willock bill

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  21. Another way says:

    The best Sowande can do for JW is pay for an appeal to a higher court.

    I would expect an appeals court to seize the Drew’s assets and use them to pay most (about 70%?) of this bill. JW and sheep would pay the rest equally.

    As misguided as JW was, he should not go down alone.

  22. Balls says:

    Have the balls to make a ruling . Willock did not listen to the AG he felt he had more authority and clout than the Governor …
    Take a stand Premiet

  23. Well says:

    If they sent him they need to help him pay that bill out of their personal pockets. He should have known better too.

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