Newly sworn-in Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool said he is not convinced about Premier Andrew Fahie’s reasons for hiring a full-time personal security detail with taxpayer dollars and said he has a number of questions surrounding the precedence set by the leader of government business.
Following a disagreement between himself and House of Assembly Speaker Julian Willock on Tuesday, Vanterpool marched outside the establishment and spoke extensively on the issue.
“I intend to ask the Honourable House to let the people of this territory — especially our hard-working taxpayers — know why Premier and Minister for Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie is the first leader of government in the history of the Virgin Islands to attract a full-time security detail. Why is this security detail costing us taxpayers millions of dollars and why is this security detail that we have for Honourable Andrew Fahie, ‘the man’, as opposed to ‘the Premier’ or ‘the Office’,” Vanterpool said.
Security for how long?
Vanterpool then proceeded to inquire whether the same security detail will be available to the Acting Premier in the absence of the Premier.
He questioned: “Why is the taxpayer to pay over $5 million for the security of Honourable Andrew Fahie – the person – for the next four years?”
“When the Honourable Andrew Fahie is no longer Premier since this threat appears to be personal, who will pay for the personal protection of Honourable Andrew Fahie or will a bill be passed in this session that all Premiers in future will receive security for life?” Vanterpool further asked.
No reports to the police?
And while contradicting previous statements from Fahie, Vanterpool said he had reliably learnt that the Commissioner of Police had not yet received any reports from the Premier, even four months after Fahie received the reported threats.
Vanterpool further said, if the threats are credible, he believes ‘serious action’ must be taken immediately to find the perpetrators.
“If it is a threat to one’s life, especially on the life of the Premier of this territory, we need to order a full investigation into this threat. We needed to have Scotland Yard detectives here long ago to find out why our Premier is under threat,” Vanterpool stated.
Relationship between security and past allegation?
The veteran politician said he will be seeking to find out whether the security requested by the Premier is to protect him from the reported 2003 criminal investigation where Fahie as a government Minister was allegedly accused of being involved in money laundering.
Vanterpool said he will also be aiming to discover whether that case is pending or closed as he believes it is of great importance to the people of the BVI.
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