Penn recounted the 2019 incidents while speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, September 29.
While stating that he should have publicly addressed the matters sooner, Penn said his decision to finally come forward came after the reported online attacks persisted.
“Here it is someone who’s fortunate to come to the BVI, to be employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands, to work in the Premier’s Office; is out there creating political mischief and he ain’t have the sense to hide his name. So I saw the name and I went back to my order sheet. [He] is somebody who’s being paid $78,000 a year by the Government of the Virgin Islands [but] here meddling in BVI politics,” Penn stated.
He continued: “The same name on the Facebook page is the same name here in the consultancy — Sunil. He’s been hired by the government of the Virgin Islands to do research [and] policy analysis. He’s emboldened to attack the Opposition and to attack sitting members of this parliament while being paid by the government of the Virgin Islands.”
The Opposition Leader said his other alleged attacker was identified through the documents he had requested from the Premier’s Office after asking questions in the House concerning contracted government consultants.
According to the documents which were shared with our news centre, the individual’s contract was valued at $98,000.
“I have evidence that on Budget Day 2019, Mr Hamlet attacked me in the House of Assembly yards trying to take my picture when I asked him not to take my picture. And [he] almost undress me and unclothed me,” Penn said.
“I mentioned it to members of the government when I came back inside of the House. I mentioned the issue to my Opposition colleagues if they know who this guy is and I came back inside fuming,” he added.
Rising on a ‘point of order’, Premier Andrew Fahie interrupted Penn’s statement to bring clarity to some of the allegations brought forward by the Opposition Leader.
He said: “Note the date for the first person that he called that did consultancy, which is the first that I am hearing all these stories.”
“That person doesn’t work for the government of the Virgin Islands no more. So the contract he is stating — to put in the minds of the people that while they’re struggling — we have those persons here. The services of the persons was already over long before COVID-19 started,” the Premier explained.
Responding to Fahie’s interjection, Penn said he was standing firmly by his statements made on the allegations.
He also warned the accused individuals to discontinue their mischief and to keep out of the BVI politics.
“They try to assassinate me on online media. They tried that already, they were paid to do that already. Their shot missed … I am not going to stand quietly while your mischief is being financed by the people of this territory, you going hear from me every day in this Honourable House if you continue this mischief,” Penn said.
We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality