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2 UK solicitors appointed to CoI

- solicitors are Andrew King & Rhea Harrikissoon
Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom is the sole Commissioner of the UK backed Inquiry into alleged corruption in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Secretary to the Commission, Mr Steven Chandler said the newly appointed solicitors ‘bring with them a range of relevant knowledge and experience’. Photo: VINO/File
Secretary to the Commission, Mr Steven Chandler said the newly appointed solicitors ‘bring with them a range of relevant knowledge and experience’. Photo: VINO/File
In May 2020, Veteran legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA, right, brought a motion to the House of Assembly to reprimand Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert, left, over his late tabling of the BVI Airways Report from the Auditor General. Photo: VINO/File
In May 2020, Veteran legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA, right, brought a motion to the House of Assembly to reprimand Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert, left, over his late tabling of the BVI Airways Report from the Auditor General. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In a press statement that was not shared with Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in the Virgin Islands has stated that two solicitors have been appointed to the Inquiry.

The Commission of Inquiry was announced on January 18, 2021, by controversial ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, mere days before he exited the Virgin Islands (VI).

Mr Jaspert had claimed that the CoI is 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”.

According to the statement sent to selected media houses today, March 15, 2021, two solicitors, Mr Andrew King and Ms Rhea Harrikissoon, have been appointed to the COI’s legal team, joining Mr Bilal Rawat (Counsel to the Inquiry).

“They bring with them a range of relevant knowledge and experience,” CoI Secretary Steven Chandler stated.


The statement, obtained by our newsroom, said Mr King qualified as a solicitor in private practice in 2009. In 2010 he joined the UK’s National Crime Agency (formerly the Serious Organised Crime Agency) until he moved to the UK Government Legal Department (formerly the Treasury Solicitor’s Department) in 2014 where he held a number of roles primarily dealing with public law litigation.

Ms Harrikissoon, according to the CoI statement, qualified in private practice in 2012, specialising in childcare and family law. She joined the UK Government Legal Department in 2015 and has extensive experience in public law challenges, and more recently with public inquiry work including the Brook House Inquiry and Infected Blood Inquiry. Ms Harrikissoon was the Solicitor to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom is the sole Commissioner.

Was the CoI a vendetta?

While many in the Virgin Islands agree that certain projects in the VI over the years may have warranted an Inquiry, they have been suspicious about the motive for this one, especially since the former Governor, Mr Jaspert, shared a strained relationship with the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government.

 Mr Jaspert was accused of trying to bully the elected Government of Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and to cause a friction between the government and the electorate.

The ex-governor, who some had deemed insensitive and even racist following statements late last year about reparations and preservation of names of landmarks, was also accused of trying to bully the House of Assembly.

In May 2020, Veteran legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA brought a motion to the House of Assembly to reprimand Mr Jaspert over his late tabling of the BVI Airways Report from the Auditor General.

The motion; however, was defeated.

More to CoI than what meets the eye?

Mr Jaspert seemingly had the last laugh; however, as he kept the Government in the dark about his planned CoI based on “unfounded allegations” and then colluded with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the UK press to give the CoI announcement international publicity, which sought to damage the reputation of the Virgin Islands.

Some have argued; however, that the real objective of the CoI may be bigger than Governor Jaspert’s apparent ‘tit for tat’ and may be a scheme to set back the Virgin Islands progress in governance and democracy as the territory seeks to push towards self-determination.

This is also the year that the VI seeks constitutional review with the UK and it has repeatedly stated it is not satisfied with the current arrangements, which legislators and political pundits have in no uncertain terms labeled as ‘one sided.

26 Responses to “2 UK solicitors appointed to CoI”

  • Rubber Duck (15/03/2021, 15:08) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    They will be the ones drawing up the charges.
    • @rubber duck (15/03/2021, 16:17) Like (4) Dislike (27) Reply
      Hope I am wrong, but this is probably an upper leve, sophisticated country/government led raid on another country's coffers to last decades if not forever.

      Just another thought out scheme on how to take your money and "keep you in your place." How dare you be making and handling so much money! If you only knew what goes through the minds of people on that level who do not even see/view you as their human equals, but as their subhuman "subjects.
      • Rubber Duck (15/03/2021, 17:29) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
        The amount of money made ( at least legally ) in BVI is completely insignificant in UK terms. The UK gives out in overseas aid about 20 times the entire GDP of BVI. The smallest company on the FTSE stock exchange has five times the income of the BVI. Cynical as I am , it just could be that as BVI citizens are also British citizens they are protecting their citizens from possibly corrupt government. Something they have do in places like Liverpool from time to time.
        • #Rubber Duck (15/03/2021, 19:14) Like (6) Dislike (15) Reply
          Do you think we believe tha UK care about the BVI citizens to that extent to protect them. What ever the reason it certainly not in the best interest of the BVI. UK do not protect their own we would be idiots to believe they would want to protect us.

          • Rubber Duck (16/03/2021, 13:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            Yes they do. Or why would they send free vaccine. They didn’t send any to Haiti
  • The real rubber duck (15/03/2021, 16:45) Like (4) Dislike (23) Reply
    Money needed to get the vaccine here they wasting on a bogus racist coi
    • Rubber Duck (16/03/2021, 10:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I am pleased that I am becoming so famous that lesser mortals wish to imitate me. The UK is giving us the vaccine for free, hello.
  • investigate (15/03/2021, 17:44) Like (4) Dislike (22) Reply
    Premier, VINO, please hold gus accountable for his racism. It appears he got away with it. No one has held him accountable for his despicable hateful rhetoric. That hurt us and our ancestors. He disrespected us and them and needs to be held accountable.
    • @Investigate (16/03/2021, 14:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The valid reason for the solitary stance might be attributed to the lack of facts. When and where and specifying the offending action would be a start.
  • Agree (15/03/2021, 18:49) Like (3) Dislike (14) Reply
    Why haven’t gus’s employers made him issue an apology? Do they condone his behaviour?
  • Don’t forget (15/03/2021, 18:56) Like (5) Dislike (19) Reply
    Obviously white supremacists don’t feel they need to apologize. And so they don’t. And continue to be on our necks....
  • Lolfh (15/03/2021, 19:08) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    One thing tho them devils does dress really nice and appropriate...if it one thing I can say about them
  • our ancestors? (15/03/2021, 19:17) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Our ancestors are the citizens of the other dependent territories who were under the british rule and today the same ancestors from down the island and insulting them by calling them islandman and expat with racial intent.where did our bvi ancestors originated?Africa?where did island people originated?Africa?bvi ancestors are black caribbean people..
  • @ our ancestors ? (15/03/2021, 21:33) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    • Cowards (16/03/2021, 10:13) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      All the BVI Pastors are cowards except BISHOP JOHN IVAN CLINE and PASTOR CLAUDE CLINE. Yes I said it. Where are the Pastors!!!
  • sad day (15/03/2021, 22:20) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    The coi is a crying shame
  • Oh Ohhhh (15/03/2021, 23:26) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Our Goose is so cooked.
  • Dr r (16/03/2021, 07:19) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    Hope the USA steps in as this is a British Invasion
    • josiah'sbay (16/03/2021, 09:16) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      When will we understand that no European (Caucasian) Power that built is strength and wealth off of Africans and Brown people and continue to use them as such will have any interest in seeing them achieve beyond a certain level. You don't allow the golden calf to escape its captivity.
      • Marconi (16/03/2021, 10:55) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        European wealth was born of invention and industrialization. Mercedes Benz and antibiotics, Champagne and aircraft.
        Work ethic and production lines.

        Instead of lying about moaning , maybe we should be studying what made them successful and adopting some of it.
    • @ Dr r (16/03/2021, 09:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      If the US step is to help the U.K which only seems fair because when you speak about 2500 kilos 400k 250k. no way in the Bvi peopel are consuming all that drug.. all that going the U.S and destroying lifes and family.
  • nonsense (16/03/2021, 10:08) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Racism to the highest...raping a country’s coffers. The UK residents who live in Tortola are receiving some of the biggest salaries. Now the UK country is raping the country of the rest of the $$$. THE VIP NEEDS TO STAND UP AND PROTEST. Sick and tired of this nonsense!!!!
  • This (16/03/2021, 10:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Beyond talking......the most influential ones are bought so it a no win cant see ..there turn there backs them that sell us out first the church and head of church
  • open up (16/03/2021, 10:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rabbit season then ........simple
  • open up (16/03/2021, 10:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    See it got a few up over those hills ...

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