British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022

Evidence gathering stage of COI now concluded

Evidence gathering stage of COI now concluded

After more than 50 days of oral hearings in the last six months, the head of the Commissioner of Inquiry (COI), Sir Gary Hickinbottom today announced the conclusion of these hearings.
While open oral hearings have been happening since about April, evidence-gathering started long before that.

In a statement Friday morning, October 22, Sir Gary said: “The stage of evidence collection which I began in January is now concluded and I’m and going to proceed on the basis that the elected ministers, etcetera — as represented by the Attorney General, and her IRU (Internal Response Unit) — have now disclosed all documents in relation to matters that are potentially relevant to my terms of reference.”

“The same applies to members of the House of Assembly who are represented by Silk Legal,” the Commissioner added.

He continued: “The evidence stage, as I say, is complete but that’s subject to a number of caveats. First, there are outstanding several requests for disclosure which have been made to the Attorney General; some several weeks ago. And I propose that the Attorney complies with each of those requests by 4 pm by Friday the 29th of October.”

While the evidence gathering stage is completed, Sir Gary noted that the Attorney General has requested to put questions to both the present and past governor at a later time. Sir Gary said this is something he has agreed to “in principle”.

Over the course of oral hearings which have been made public, the COI has heard evidence on topics such as the interests held and declared by members of the House of Assembly, as well as leases, statutory boards, Crown land, Belongership, governance under law enforcement and justice systems, and the procurement of contracts.

The next stage of the COI and the details of that exercise is not immediately clear.
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