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CoI extended to December 2021

- Gov John J. Rankin extends Inquiry for six months
The Commission of Inquiry in the Virgin Islands was launched by the controversial ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, left, on his way out of office on January 19, 2021. Right is Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John J. Rankin CMG in a statement today, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, said good governance is paramount to the success of any country and that he remains committed to supporting both the CoI and the elected Government in achieving this for the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook/File
Governor John J. Rankin CMG in a statement today, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, said good governance is paramount to the success of any country and that he remains committed to supporting both the CoI and the elected Government in achieving this for the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The United Kingdom (UK) sponsored Commission of Inquiry (CoI) being carried out in the Virgin Islands (VI) by the sole Commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom has been extended until December 2021.

This was announced by Governor John J. Rankin CMG in a statement today, Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

“I have taken the decision to allow a six-month extension to the Commission,” Governor Rankin said. 

He said his move follows a June 2, 2021, statement by Hickinbottom that the time that was allotted was not sufficient, and he would be seeking an extension from the Governor.

A report on the findings of the CoI was expected to come on July 19, 2021, which is five days away.

“Since 19 January, the Commission of Inquiry, led by Sir Gary Hickinbottom, has been working diligently and thoroughly through a number of areas of Governance identified by the Commissioner as of interest to the scope of the Inquiry,” Governor Rankin said.

Reasons for the extension

There were a few reasons outlined in the statement to validate the extension period.

One was that the CoI is looking into a substantial amount of information, and the Government’s Inquiry Response Unit (IRU) that was created to support Ministries and to provide responses to all requests for information is facing some difficulties providing documentation, which has caused a delay in the process.

“The current COVID-19 outbreak, the curfew order and the encouragement to stay at home makes all of our current ways of working difficult. It is important that the Commission can continue to operate safely within COVID-19 guidelines, even if it means that in-person hearings may not always be possible,” the Governor added.

Mr Rankin said he had already informed Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and his Cabinet of the extension and, “a new instrument will be issued.”

Good governance

“Good governance is paramount to the success of any country, and I remain committed to supporting both the CoI and the elected Government in achieving this for the British Virgin Islands,” Mr Rankin further said.

The CoI was launched by the controversial ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert on his way out of office on January 19, 2021.

The CoI is investigating alleged concerns about poor governance, and possible corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty within the [British] Virgin Islands.

So far, a number of past and present legislators have been questioned by the CoI in hearings streamed live on the CoI's YouTube page.

19 Responses to “CoI extended to December 2021”

  • photo (14/07/2021, 15:19) Like (8) Dislike (33) Reply
    • Sara-Jane Banshee (14/07/2021, 15:43) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      I'll get you my pretty and your little dog ,too! Hahahahaha
  • Rubber Duck (14/07/2021, 15:32) Like (27) Dislike (3) Reply
    I see Julian Fraser has released a cover version of Shaggys hit ————

    It wasn’t t me.
    • Be honest. (14/07/2021, 16:31) Like (27) Dislike (23) Reply
      Its our politicians created this.. This mess wasnt created by the COI. It is only been brought to light by the COI.. Had no idea it was this much...
  • Tola Barber (14/07/2021, 15:36) Like (34) Dislike (33) Reply
    ooh gawd these colonizers here so long?
  • Dancing in the sunshine (14/07/2021, 16:36) Like (54) Dislike (32) Reply
    I am tired of these descendants of former slave masters telling us nonsense in our country. It is time for them to end this inquiry and get out of here. They have over spent their welcome. England has so much corruption and they don't look into them and coming to tell us nonsense. I hope the people are seeing the true color of these people. It is time for us to demonstrate in Road Town and tell them to leave immediately.
    • @Dancing (15/07/2021, 06:22) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      I agree with you about the hypocrisy. However, we called for them.
    • @dancing in the sunshine (15/07/2021, 09:36) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      And they should take their vaccine with them and we will be dancing in n the sunshine.
  • probably (14/07/2021, 16:43) Like (15) Dislike (8) Reply
    the first of several extensions into 2022 and beyond. The IRU needs to step up its procurement and submission of ALL the documents requested by the CoI! The paper trail is long, twisted and has gaps in this and past governments but their poor performance to date is no excuse.
  • Rubber Duck (14/07/2021, 16:47) Like (35) Dislike (27) Reply
    The racist mob at it again down with this oppressive coi
  • Only corrupted minded people hate justice. (14/07/2021, 18:28) Like (26) Dislike (22) Reply
    Continue the probe on the corruption issue, Sir Gary Hickinbottom and team members. It's long overdue. Justice must be served. Don't take even take one step backward. Six months extension to complete your mission is a reasonable request. Support the CoI. It's the right thing to do.
  • bvi (14/07/2021, 20:48) Like (18) Dislike (13) Reply
    They need to get the f...out of here on 19 July. No extension necessary. They trying to find mud where there is none
  • Huh!? (14/07/2021, 21:12) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    We have to wait three years for the cannabis bill which was spoken of favorably in the speech from the throne in 2019, voted on affirmatively by all voting HOA members in 2020 along with the amendment to the drugs misuse and prevention act to clear the records off the persons with small amounts.

    If a otherwise law abiding person is found with a small amount or a young adult gets ‘caught’ currently it is a permanent stain on their record.

  • Youth (15/07/2021, 00:07) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    I am now clear that if you are white you are right & if you are UK you are okay.
  • Concerned Citizen. (15/07/2021, 10:44) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    He our elected representatives not brought us to this point with their continued mismanagement of the public finances and their poor stewardship in general there would have been absolutely no need for a COI. Take for example existence the public assistance programme. The waste over the here in this regard is astonishing all because of the lack of accountability. The Audit Department need more powers. Government Ministers take this Department for a joke and has been for years. Their reports have always feel on deft ears. When are we going to get a good honest people to run for political office in this country? I am certainly no fan of the UK and it’s blatant hypocrisy but I am a fan of accountability and I am grateful for the COI in this regard.
  • concern (15/07/2021, 12:09) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
  • It's sad to have to admit that in the B.V.I hater of good is the norm d (15/07/2021, 12:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Love for God and our neighbors value little.
    Since when accountibility is wrong?
    Is it sinse Satan convinced most us it is?
    Empty barrells make the loudest sound, but those sound add to our confusion.
    Why speak words of hate against those that God send to help ease the pains of injustice? Why? Why?
    Hatred is an evil force of the mind. Does the color of poison makes it less deadly? No, tt doesn't, neither do the colors of skin. There is but one cure against its negative effect: the Love of God our Creator.
    Support the CoI probe against corruption in the B.V.I. for the betterment of all our citizens, and those that living among us.

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