Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Jan 27, 2023

‘Whoever sitting on Withers Report needs to release it to public’- Julio S. Henry

‘Whoever sitting on Withers Report needs to release it to public’- Julio S. Henry

Radio show host and businessman Mr Julio S. Henry aka 'Sam' has joined the call for a report by Withers Law in relation to its representation of Cabinet Ministers before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to be released to the public.

The report, sometimes referred to as the Withers/Cox Report, has not been made public and a recent request for it by Territorial At Large and Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone to the Governor was denied.

Many believe the report will give a different perspective on the CoI, since the public has only been fed with the report by one-man commissioner and UK national Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, who was hand-picked by former Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, who commissioned the CoI before exiting the VI.

Hickinbottom had said the VI was incapable of fixing its own problems and recommended direct rule by the United Kingdom.

Many, including regional leaders and organisations, have blasted the recommendation of direct rule as outdated and reeking of colonialism and racism.

The Withers Report, sometimes referred to as the Withers/Cox Report, has not been made public and a recent request for it by Territorial At Large and Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone to the Governor was denied.

‘That report is important’- Henry

Mr Henry, speaking on his show Speak out BVI on ZBVI 780 AM on October 11, 2022, said the report is an ‘important’ piece of document that should be made public.

They [Withers Law] should have generated a report. We have not seen that report, that report is important, we paid for it and whoever is sitting on it needs to release it to the public, whether the Premier has it, the Governor has it, whoever has it needs to release it to the public, so the public is aware of whatever the report says,” Mr Henry said.

Demonstration against the possible imposition of direct rule by the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday, May 2, 2022.

‘I'm going to push until we get it’- Hon Malone

Hon Malone, while asking questions in the July 21, 2022, House of Assembly (HoA) sitting, queried whether a parallel report had been created by Withers Law.

Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) responded that a parallel report was not stated in the Terms of Reference of the legal representation by Withers; however, a response to the CoI report could be prepared by the law firm.

Premier Wheatley subsequently indicated that his government would not be asking Withers Law to create a written response to the CoI Report, citing its potential $1M cost.

Meanwhile, Hon Malone hinted that it could reveal findings that would bring more insight to the people of the territory.

“I'm going to push until we get it… and it should not cost one million dollars. We already paid eight million dollars for all of the different costs,” Hon Malone told ‘Honestly Speaking’ radio host Claude O. Skelton-Cline on August 23, 2022.


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