British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jun 19, 2021

'Insensitive' Governor to hold press conference with CoI Commissioner

'Insensitive' Governor to hold press conference with CoI Commissioner

The British Judge handpicked by outgoing Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert to head the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Governance in the Virgin Islands will be introduced to the media at a press conference called by Governor Jaspert tomorrow, Friday, January 22, 2021.

According to a correspondence from the Governor’s Office, the Governor will officially hand over the Inquiry to The Right Honourable Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom at the media briefing scheduled for the ‘Tortola Room’ of the Arbitration Centre, Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola, at 12:00pm.

Governor Jaspert, who it is alleged has been antagonistic towards the elected Government of Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced the CoI on Monday, January 18, 2021.

He had also disclosed that he had named Mr Hickinbottom to lead the Commission of Inquiry.

According to a press statement from the Governor’s Office today, January 21, 2021, Sir Gary will look into whether there is information that corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty in relation to officials - elected, statutory or public - may have taken place in recent years. If so, the Commission will consider the conditions which allowed this to take place and make independent recommendations for improvement.


Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, who it is alleged has been antagonistic towards the elected Government of Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in photo, announced the CoI on Monday, January 18, 2021.

Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom


Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Sir Gary served as a Lord Justice of Appeal, one of the most senior judges in the UK and brings to the Commission more than 45 years of experience in the law, the Governor’s Office stated.

During his twenty years as a judge, Sir Gary heard the full range of civil and criminal cases and supervised public law challenges in both the Administrative Court and the Court of Appeal. Prior to becoming a judge his legal experience as a solicitor and as a partner in a London law firm included both commercial cases and pro bono and human rights work on Caribbean death row cases. Sir Gary regularly speaks at diversity conferences and seminars, particularly on issues relating to diversity within the legal profession and the judiciary. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor to HM The Queen in 2017.

The Governor’s Office said the decision to appoint Sir Gary to lead the Inquiry was based on his judicial experience, qualifications and effectiveness “so the best possible outcomes for the people of BVI can be guaranteed.”


Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert's perceived insensitivity to descendants of slaves has again come into question with him choosing Martin Luther King Jr Day to announce he had issued a Commission of Inquiry into Governance, throwing the Virgin Islands into a highly negative light on the international scene.

Questionable & insensitive action by Governor


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 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 has again come 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.

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