No more official announcements will be made in relations to the BVI Airways court matter as Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie disclosed that he was cautioned about speaking or commenting on the matter.
Of recent BVI Airways has been back in the headlines as it was revealed that the Attorney General filed a case in the US District court of Columbia in an effort to take discovery from former BVI Government Attorney and BVI Airways Director Lester Hyman who is based in Washington DC.
The recent revelations spawned various questions; chief of which was whether the Attorney General was instructed by this current or the former administration to turn to the US court. However, the answer could not be provided by the Premier when two members of the Opposition brought the matter up in the 17 October sitting of the House of Assembly.
In noting that the matter was off limits the Premier declared to both Leader of the Opposition Hon. Marlon Penn, and Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser that he could not provide answers to the questions about the matter.
Hon. Fahie declared, “Mr. Speaker this entire matter regarding BVI Airways…is a matter before the court and is therefore prohibited from public comments and discussions. Meaning I cannot tell you anything about it. I cannot talk about it at this time.”
The Premier was further prompted to give some information to which he responded: “It is in the court and it is in hot pursuit.”
The Premier’s approach to the matter caused Hon. Fraser to boldly question whether Hon. Fahie was guarding his response because he was now Premier. Hon. Fraser said: “Mr. Speaker this is becoming a norm where one administration keeps covering for the other.”
This comment caused the Premier to rise on a point of order stating that he is seeking answers about the matter too: “Mr. Speaker, the Member for the Third knows better. I was over there with him looking for the plane, the plane. I started to ring the bell like Tatoo looking for the plane. Now I am over here looking for the plane. So, I don’t understand what cover up. I trying to get the $7.2M. I cannot say anything else, it’s in the court. The reason it is in the court they looking for the plane or the money.”
In noting how sensitive the matter is Hon. Fahie mentioned that he was cautioned before arriving in the House of Assembly: “Before coming today I was advised to answer this way,” he said.
The Premier speaking further about the caution he received said: “Mr. Speaker what they tell me is watch your mouth because the thing is in the court … The member knows that it’s in court. I have to leave this thing alone; let it take its course and then Barry say we will hear if we will get back the money or not. I cannot comment on the plane nor the court case, nor the files nor anything with BVI Airways. It’s in the courts.”
Meanwhile Hon. Fahie said that he is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the matter to note what will happen next: “When the time comes whatever it is to be revealed will be revealed. If we can get back the money or not I don’t know. I can’t say who innocent or who guilty or if anything went wrong or it was just procedural errors I don’t know. The Member for the Third could rest assured that when that time comes he would know and so would I and everyone else. So please member don’t feel like anything is being covered up,” the Premier added.