Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Jan 27, 2023

‘My legacy must never be tied with suggestions of criminality’

‘My legacy must never be tied with suggestions of criminality’

Former Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has forcefully rejected suggestions that elements within his previously governing National Democratic Party (NDP) administration may have been tied to acts of criminality in any way.

Dr Smith’s comments come in the wake of the release of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report.

Although, the territory’s former leader said he welcomed the report, he encouraged everyone to read it to draw their own conclusions regarding both its substance and style.

“The COI report criticises government officials for not carrying out sufficient due diligence. That in hindsight would be tantamount to poor governance. But it could never be elevated to criminality on the part of either the previous Financial Secretary or myself,” the former Premier said in a statement issued yesterday, May 9.

According to Dr Smith, while in hindsight, due diligence errors may have been made by his government, “at no time was there any act even remotely bordering on criminality committed on the part of myself or my colleagues”.

“At the end of the day,” the former Premier insisted, “this is my legacy which must never be tied up with suggestions of criminality on my part.”

I reject conclusions of serious dishonesty


Meanwhile, Dr Smith said he needed to ‘clear the air’ on the report’s findings in relation to BVI Airways and the suggestion that there may have been criminality on the part of those BVIslanders involved, including himself.

He referred specifically to a passage at page 374 of the COI’s report which found that the project was an example of poor governance on the part of the government due to a failure to require financial statements from BVI Airways; inadequate due diligence; and other examples of this kind.

The report, he noted, also suggests that from these criticisms of poor governance, it follows that some form of “serious dishonesty in relation to government officials may have taken place.”

“I wholly reject that conclusion – a conclusion that is not supported by any facts,” Dr Smith asserted.

We were let down by our advisor


“Moreover,” the former Premier continued, “I state categorically that at no time during the four years or so that my government was involved with the US promotors of BV Airways, in an effort to get the airline started, was there any criminal activity – deliberate or by accident on our part.”

Dr Smith said no facts have been alleged and no evidence shown which indicates otherwise. “The COI report itself does not set out justification for the suggestion that BVI government officials may have committed a crime,” he added.

He argued that in agreeing to make an investment in BVI Airways, his government relied on the advice of a trusted US lawyer and advisor of approximately 30 years of successive BVI governments.

“We were let down by this advisor,” Dr Smith said.

He continued: “As stated in the report, the project regretfully did not succeed. I as the Premier at the time immediately initiated legal and investigative activities to recover the monies that government had invested. This matter is still ongoing before the courts such that I will comment no further on it.”

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
Close
0:00
0:00
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
BVI Freedom Song
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
China's first population drop in six decades
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Hello Dolly
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Yes He Can
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Unforgettable
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
The Lord's Prayer
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Siyahamba
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Ramblin' Rose
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Common, John Legend - Glory
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
BVI Freedom Song
×