British Virgin Islands

Sunday, May 09, 2021

See who will pay for COI and government-retained law firm

See who will pay for COI and government-retained law firm

The cost of the upcoming Commission of Inquiry (COI) will be covered by the United Kingdom government.

According to the BVI’s Commission of Inquiry Act, payment for the COI may be drawn from the territory’s treasury.

But the Governor’s Office informed our news centre that the Commissioner and his secretary will not be paid by BVI taxpayers.

“The UK government will fund the cost. They are doing so because of the UK’s responsibilities to support the OTs and good governance. The cost of the COI depends entirely on the length of it so we cannot give a cost yet,” a response from the Governor’s Office said.

Who’s paying for government’s COI lawyers?

In the meantime, Premier Andrew Fahie has indicated that the BVI government will be paying for the services of the law firm Withers and its leading counsel, Sir Geoffrey Cox. He has been retained to represent the current government members in the upcoming COI.

“The BVI government welcomes a transparent Commission of Inquiry, and as a result, the government is paying for the legal services geared at protecting the present and future generations of the BVI while ensuring that the process is transparent,” Premier Fahie told BVI News.

Premier Fahie also reiterated the point of view of Health Minister Carvin Malone who said the upcoming COI is as an attack on the current BVI administration.

“An attack has been launched against the BVI and we have to protect our name and reputation locally and abroad,” the Premier stated.

He continued: “Coming out of this transparent process, the BVI will be stronger than ever. Shortly, a full address will be made to further state clearly our support as a government for the transparent COI with clear and specific terms of reference as stated by the Commission of Inquiry Act and the details of the legal service.”


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