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CoI team returns to VI next week; May hold preliminary hearings

- Commission says it has sent out more than 100 letters of request for info to public officials
Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom, left, and Press Secretary Mr Steven Chandler, right. The Commission of Inquiry team is expected back in the Virgin Islands next week. Photo: VINO/File
The Commission of Inquiry ('the Commission') was announced on January 18, 2021, by controversial ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert. Photo: VINO/File
The Commission of Inquiry ('the Commission') was announced on January 18, 2021, by controversial ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert. Photo: VINO/File
Due to the secret nature of the planned Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in the Virgin Islands, both Government and Financial Services, whose success relies on the territory's good reputation, were caught off guard and unable to respond in a timely manner to counter the negative international press that the UK Government and the UK media collaborated on. Photo: VINO
Due to the secret nature of the planned Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in the Virgin Islands, both Government and Financial Services, whose success relies on the territory's good reputation, were caught off guard and unable to respond in a timely manner to counter the negative international press that the UK Government and the UK media collaborated on. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Commissioner of the Inquiry into governance in the Virgin Islands, Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, will be returning to the Virgin Islands (VI) next week and is currently considering holding preliminary hearings in the VI in late April and early May, prior to the main oral hearings.

This is according to CoI Secretary Steven Chandler in a press statement today, March 22, 2021.

“The Commissioner will publish rules to regulate the conduct and management of the COI’s hearings shortly,” Mr Chandler stated.

The COI, according to Mr Chandler, is currently engaged in the second stage of the Inquiry, namely obtaining further information and documentation in response to the information already provided by members of the public.

Info requested from elected & statutory officials

The COI has to date sent over 100 letters of request for information/documents to public officials, including elected and statutory officials.

“Members of the COI team intend to return to the British Virgin Islands next week to continue with the information gathering stage of the COI. The Commissioner will be accompanied by Mr Steven Chandler (Secretary to the COI) and Mr Andrew King (Senior Solicitor to the COI). All three will of course observe the current 14 days quarantine requirement on arrival,” Mr Chandler wrote.

The CoI team had departed the VI for the UK on February 4, 2021.

CoI concerns

The Commission of Inquiry was announced on January 18, 2021 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.

Interestingly, it was announced by controversial ex-Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, who it is alleged was antagonistic towards the elected Government of Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who has been putting qualified Virgin Islanders in top posts usually held by expatriates and has been championing talks of self-determination.

Mr Jaspert had kept the VI Government in the dark about his scheme and then colluded with the UK press to give the CoI international coverage, which hurt the reputation of the territory.

Many Virgin Islanders have stated while they are aware that corruption may exist in the VI just as in any other country, including the UK, the move to issue a CoI is highly “questionable” especially since it is no secret the Governor has been at loggerheads with the elected Government.

The controversial former Governor was already heavily critcised late last year for what many deemed as insensitive remarks on reparations for slavery and for stating that the VI should preserve the names of landmarks named after perpetrators of chattel slavery, brutality and crimes against humanity.

His perceived insensitivity to descendants of slaves further came into question with him choosing Martin Luther King Jr Day to announce he had issued a Commission of Inquiry into Governance, throwing the VI into a highly negative light on the international scene.

Virgin Islanders associate with Martin Luther King Jr Day, being mostly descendants of slaves and due to their close ties with the United States of America.

27 Responses to “CoI team returns to VI next week; May hold preliminary hearings”

  • ... (22/03/2021, 12:51) Like (18) Dislike (21) Reply
    just a racist plot to take over the BVI
  • Shaft (22/03/2021, 14:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    WOW - That white lady has really got some people's blown AND if those that was given the honor of guiding the people and the country in the right direction cannot respect themselves to do the right thing then WE IN serious trouble and pointing fingers wont save YOU guys because you have innocent blood on your hands.
  • Mlk Day (22/03/2021, 14:10) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is American. We are BVI. Stop looking for connections to racism you twats.

    Or are you finally agreeing we are actually Americans in disguise, after all we all carry both passports.
    • @ Mlk Day (23/03/2021, 09:43) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      Let the truth be told that the CoI of the hidden secrets to take over our people and lands be told. The racist diversionary tactics IS not going to work against the BVI people by the white supremacy UK and the few blogging in the Governor's office
  • Norris Turnbull (22/03/2021, 14:59) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Martin Luther King didnt even know where Tortola is.
  • I dont think gus (22/03/2021, 16:26) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    believe he not racist ..think he just feels justified by it
  • taxman (22/03/2021, 16:29) Like (22) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why is it that the former Governor's reputation is attacked rather than the substance of the enquiry? If the enquiry is such an issue then maybe tell us what the issues are with the enquiry itself rather than just bleating racism and attacking the former Governor's character. Corruption is what keeps rich people rich and poor people poor, those with their hands in the coffers are probably ecstatic that all the talk is about 'racist' Gus rather than who has been ripping off taxpayers
    • @ taxman (23/03/2021, 09:57) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      I agree let's start investigating racist Gus, the current police commissioner and the governor's office with its apartheid system. Good start would you not agree?
    • Rubber Duck (23/03/2021, 10:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is the people with their hands deep in the cookie jar who are trying to use alleged racism to save their sorry backsides. It isn’t going to work.
  • rewrsdffds (22/03/2021, 16:41) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    What will the people do because those europeans full of Victimization
    • Why this taking so long (22/03/2021, 17:26) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
      Time to wrap up. We are waiting for the truth, nothing but the truth,. the whole truth,.
  • @ taxma (22/03/2021, 17:56) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    you got it right / I guess that's the best they can come up with /and since the (
    COI ) some of them singing like a canary
  • Mr tax man (22/03/2021, 19:17) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Let me tell u the hate of one race to another that keep the oppress down and poor from the days there work him and not pay him till today it call racism and yes it curuption we learnt it from u
  • @milk day (22/03/2021, 19:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

    Stop trying be a f%^&& twat bit...h..we dont got to know each other we know were we came from ...and were we surpose to be .....and trust it we know who our enemy are nothing change so keep pretending.....

  • @Norris Turnbull (22/03/2021, 19:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    I bet he knew who he were tho ....and u dont got the rigth to speak like that about a man like him ..u piece of sh** house slave...

  • @#%&^& a passport (22/03/2021, 19:43) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply

    Think that make us the same..
    We work ur #$%^& plantation now for to long that all that mean ..passport bulls***..forget it only couple years now since we were entitled to have it even though we were both under the same flag ..well I should say under ur colonial rules ...hmm u all forget but I dont ....wen we as British citizens needed visa waver to go to mother country..
    U all can never love us and deal fear with us because u all are afraid of our potential as the dominant race it is wat got u all offended..but we survive the worst and we will conquer the challenge......for history know we once rule the whole existence of things for it was we who created it .
    And also educated and civilized u all as a human on two not four ....

  • akon (23/03/2021, 06:13) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    These white people owe us big time. Their whole system is a fraud so how then can yone find equal justice in it.
  • when? (23/03/2021, 07:47) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    When will that racist bigot gus be made to apologize? Or do the uk condone his racist rhetoric and actions??
  • stop (23/03/2021, 08:24) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    @@#%&^& a passport, All of you that go on and on about racism you all are more racist than the people you are talking about.
    History is History it’s in the past and those of you who keep bringing it up you will always be a racist.
    For your information, England was one on the first Countries who stopped the shipment of slaves out of Africa, but the slave trade never stop because the American slave owners started breading their own slaves and selling to other slave owners.
    There are some people who just can’t let go of the pass, if you can’t let go of the pass you will never get ahead In life I feel sorry for those of you who are in that position. This is not Witten by a white man, let it rest you will feel much better. This has nothing to do with racism it has to do with the people who have been taking the people of the BVI for fools and using the taxpayer’s money like it belongs to them without answering to anyone.
    • Rubber Duck (23/03/2021, 10:10) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are right. The UK did not invent slavery but they were certainly the country that, using their command of the sea, put an end to it.
  • @Stop (23/03/2021, 12:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You are clueless you don’t abuse and ask for it to be forgotten. Ask for forgiveness

    Also Martin Luther King Jr IS an inspiration to all people of color as a great leader of non violent reformation on the level of Ghandi
  • distasteful (23/03/2021, 12:38) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

    Furthermore it is extremely disrespectful for the commission of inquiry to be announced on Martin Luther King Jr day! By the same white governor accused of being insensitive and racist.

    You can’t make that sh** up.

    • robocop (23/03/2021, 14:47) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      If a local rob a bank on MLK day you going to say its racist to investigate it because of when it happened?
  • @Stop (23/03/2021, 17:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So wat u really trying say there were just and honest people...if u only know the amount blood on there hands ...that why there decendant cant be no better ..the dont bare orange

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