Beautiful Virgin Islands

Monday, Nov 28, 2022

Jaspert should have consulted me about allegations, Premier suggests

Jaspert should have consulted me about allegations, Premier suggests

Premier Andrew Fahie has suggested that former Governor Augustus Jaspert should have consulted him once he became aware of serious allegations against his government.

Jaspert called a Commission of Inquiry (COI) last year just before leaving office after he said he became aware of serious allegations of corruption within the government.

According to Jaspert, among these allegations were reports of links to organised criminal dealings involving members at the highest levels of government.

But speaking in the House of Assembly recently, Premier Fahie said that a section of the constitution was not followed once the former Governor became aware of those allegations.

He referred to section 60 of the constitution which speaks about the Governor‘s special responsibilities and argued that subsection 5 supports his argument.

This subsection states: “The Premier or other Minister shall provide to the Governor on request all papers and information, including the text of any instrument under negotiation, available to the Premier or other Minister with respect to any activities in pursuance of subsection (4)”.

After quoting that section of the constitution, the Premier went on to interpret the meaning to be, “one of the first options if you hear things that sound out of place as a Governor, is to ask the Premier and the ministers and they must turn over the information to the Governor.”

Premier Fahie continued: “But that wasn’t done, because they thought that what they heard was solid, very solid.”

However, the section quoted by the Premier is prefaced by a clause that suggests that the section Fahie cited refers to the “responsibility for the conduct of external affairs as they relate to any matters that fall under the portfolios of ministers…”

I’m going to fight for my reputation

The Premier, while continuing his argument, insisted that these were some of the things that he needed to fight against in order to maintain a good reputation.

Meanwhile, the Premier again denied allegations that monies were stolen by him or his government from a $40 million grant taken from the Social Security Board (SSB) in 2020 to provide stimulus funding after the onset of COVID-19.

“It’s not going to be those days when I sat down in the early days of my political career and let people destroy my name and character and get away with it, and I there sitting down singing ‘Kumbaya my Lord’, forgetting I had to participate in my purpose,” Premier Fahie argued.

The Premier also made reference to a business loan that he alleged was taken out by the former government but was never repaid until his government entered office.

According to the Premier, this was the kind of information that would never make the COI because “who was carrying the news won’t carry news on themselves”.

However, Premier Fahie is on record as having made requests for a Commission of Inquiry himself after complaining about the former government. He was reportedly denied because the cost would be too prohibitive.


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