BVI News

Premier not seeking to justify corruption — Sir Geoffrey

Government’s external attorney for the COI, Sir Geoffrey Cox, QC. (Photo Credit: The Sun)

Premier Andrew Fahie was in no way seeking to justify corruption when he appeared before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recently, Sir Geoffrey Cox, QC of Withers LLP has argued.

During the hearing, Premier Fahie had suggested that various BVI governments may not always be as consistent with their approach to every policy that is implemented.

But Sir Geoffrey — who represents ministers of government on behalf of the Attorney General, Dawn Smith — interjected to suggest this was not a statement that should be taken at face value. 

“[The COI has] been making criticisms on the basis of governance or potential criticisms, and that is what the Premier is suggesting. He’s not seeking to justify corruption,” Sir Geoffrey told the Commission.  

According to Sir Geoffrey, Premier Fahie was simply saying that with criticisms centred around questions of governance, no government in the world – particularly the United Kingdom government – would emerge with ‘a clean bill of health’.

This was a point that Premier Fahie himself had made earlier in his evidence while arguing that the COI’s terms of reference were extremely broad since. Fahie raised concern that the COI has placed every government initiative under scrutiny.

However, Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom rubbished that criticism.

“It’s simply wrong to say that we are investigating every project and every contract over the last 10 years,” Sir Gary said.

What about the governors?

As the COI examines whether any misconduct happened in public office, Sir Geoffrey said there is a role for BVI governors to play in governance. The attorney further argued that the Commission has not examined this.

He told the COI that the government felt it is under criticism for defects in governance, particularly criticisms of the way they have administered their systems and in the way they have implemented laws.

He further said these are all matters of governance that have been embedded for years and the administering state — the United Kingdom — has a responsibility.

“It (the UK through the governor) has sat in Cabinet, Sir Geoffery argued. “The Governor has sat for 20-30 years in Cabinet, seeing these decisions go past him. What have they done until last year when you were called in the midst of an obviously quite bitter and heated dispute between a Governor and a Premier?” he asked.

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23 Comments

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  1. Corruption says:

    Has been part of BVI’s politics for decades, money , fridges, washing machines for votes, contractor kickbacks for projects, favorable trade licenses etc. Money has been siphoned off in projects such as the Beef Island bridge, the Hospital, the Pier Park. It is now time to stop the ongoing theft of public funds in the BVI. We could have had the best roads, schools, public buildings in the Caribbean but we are left with a 3rd world infrastructure and terrible education and no future..well done political “leaders”!

    Like 71
    Dislike 1
    • nine says:

      How many governors has there been? Does the governor have a role in cabinet? What role does he play? Is Sir Geoffrey correct in his comments on the governors. If what he is saying is true then this long winded halla balloo is just hot air.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Geoffrey Cox, No one will expect you to say different when you are making hundreds of thousands for just sitting, and once in a while, you say something. The people who are looking at the COI aren’t stupid so don’t come thinking that you can fool us, we hear what we hear and see what we see, and only a blind deaf person cant see and hear that there is corruption in the government.

    Like 46
  3. Vigilate says:

    A good lawyer would advise his client the virtue of less rhetoric, less mistake

    Like 20
  4. ok then says:

    @ CORRUPTION

    Well said

    Like 13
  5. heckler says:

    The governor give them enough time and slack to hang themselves

    Like 19
  6. FAN OF GEOFFERY says:

    It (the UK through the governor) has sat in Cabinet, Sir Geoffery argued. “The Governor has sat for 20-30 years in Cabinet, seeing these decisions go past him. What have they done until last year when you were called in the midst of an obviously quite bitter and heated dispute between a Governor and a Premier?” he asked.

    WELL SAID SIR

    Like 1
    Dislike 26
  7. @fan of Geoffrey says:

    You idiot the governor don’t vote

    Like 24
  8. GOD SPIRIT SOUL says:

    U all are all fools to the games being played by both sides when all our family which i mean blacks of the caribbean which came to the west being slaves cant hold one head do the right thing that these ppl of difference come to harvest the fruits that we rod from each other to say look wa i got. F***king insects

    Like 1
    Dislike 14
  9. BuzzBvi says:

    So Andrew Fahie’s own lawyer says that the words that come out our the premiers mouth do not mean what he says. Strange.

    Like 25
    • Champ says:

      Sir Geofrey ,FYI we know Andrew. You don’t. We know him a long long time andvhe has alw ays been sh**y. Main reasons he was elected by the benefactors of his ” genorosity,”past present and promised.

  10. Common sense says:

    Sadly, Sir Geoffrey demonstrates little understanding of life in an Overseas Territory from a Governors perspective. We have known the last 6 Governors of the BVI, and, all 6 constantly struggled with their roll due to the UK imposed policy of self determination, they were all continuously walking the same tightrope of keeping Parliament and the BVI government happy due to an imperfect system, which, Parliament has been advised to scrap accordingly by their advisory committee.

    Like 13
  11. Bumpy says:

    I wonder how much Geoffrey Cox is being paid to make himself look like a jack a**? Because as a well learnt person to behave and speak such frivolity it gotta be worth it.

    Like 14
  12. FUNNY says:

    now with all the sophisticated attorneys here / and you say you looking out for our own people/ yet you walk bucking palace and choose a white racist to defend you from
    another white racist 🤔 so what you trying to hide 🙄🤔

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
    • @funny says:

      You see, that’s the problem. When we learn to see people as people, flawed though they are, rather than this fairytale that people are racist simply because they have less melanin than us, we might find some answers.

  13. Jokes says:

    The Premier and his minions continue to chant racism and not trusting British Whites but hired a British White to defend their case! You just cannot make this s**t up!

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
    • @ Jokes says:

      Who in their learned modern day mind would ever trust British or any other white for that matter? Trust you say. Learn history and the sentence would become relevant to anyone who knows.

  14. Champ says:

    Sir Geofrey ,FYI we know Andrew. You don’t. We know him a long long time andvhe has alw ays been sh**y. Main reasons he was elected by the benefactors of his ” genorosity,”past present and promised.

  15. Pretend says:

    He knew what was going on that is why he emphasized transparency…. But when the cat saw cheese , he wanted a bite too

  16. Jane says:

    Mr Cox QC will enjoy the kudos of representing a government. How nice to put this on your professional resume. I wonder what he thinks and says privately about his clients?

    The legal fraternity of BVI have enough sense not to get involved in this mucky business, knowing that they have to do business after this COI comes to an end.

    Puzzled by Silk Law and their commercial nous to take on the engagement, perhaps they didnt think through where this would leave them when the chips fall?

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