Sparks raged in the House of Assembly during the Motion to Adjourn on Friday night, over the civil lawsuit against Lahey Clinic, and the associated files that go with it.
The row eventually saw Shadow Attorney General Trevor Moniz kicked out of the House; by the Speaker Dennis Lister, who warned him before ordering him to hit the door.
Mr Moniz was told to take a walk after he repeatedly accused National Security Minister Wayne Caines of “misleading the House”.
The Speaker of the House warned him that he would have to leave if he continued “his game”.
When Mr Moniz replied: “Well, that’s fine, Mr Speaker,” Mr Lister then told him to take a hike.
It all started when Mr Caines reminded MPs that the current Attorney General, Kathy Lynn Simmons, came into office to that not all the case files were kept in chambers.
Mr Caines also noted “allegations of documents being shredded”.
Mr Moniz rose to his feet on a point of order, insisting that the files were “all with the US law firm.
The Minister countered: “Why would any government minister, why would anyone in charge of justice have files outsite of a office?
“What type of country do we live in when we do not have files where they can be checked, where they can be managed, where they can be looked at?”
Mr Moniz replied: “The case was in Massachusetts. Wouldn’t the files be in Massachusetts – that’s were the case is.”
But Mr Caines continued, stating that copies of files should always be kept in the country. And once again, Mr Moniz insisted the Minister was “misleading the House” and that the files were always available.
At that point, the Speaker of the House said to Mr Moniz: “I think you’ve stretched your point.”
Mr Moniz replied: “Let me finish Mr Speaker.”
Mr Lister warned: “Member, you continue your game and that door is going to be yours.”
Mr Moniz said: “Well, that’s fine, Mr Speaker.”
He was promptly told to hit the door.
Once ejected, PLP MP Michael Scott rose and accused Mr Moniz of deliberately getting himself kicked out of the House to avoid pertinent questions.
“That Member, the chief law officer, has by calculation and device arranged for his self-ejectment from the House so that he does not have to answer,” said Mr Scott.
He also said the former AG’s actions told “a thousand tales of the absence of accountability”.
The heated debate was sparked by an earlier statement by Mr Moniz, who said he was disappointed that the former One Bermuda Alliance government’s case against the Boston clinic was dismissed.
He also stood by his decision to file the civil lawsuit last year.
Referring to the ruling handed down on Thursday, by US Judge Indira Taiwani, the former AG said the judge’s statement suggested criminal acts may have been committed.
In her ruling, the Judge said: “It may well be that Bermuda’s allegations as to Lahey’s commission of various predicate acts would suffice for criminal charges … or civil enforcement proceedings brought by the US Attorney General.”
Mr Moniz added: “In other words, the federal judge is saying that criminal acts may have been committed.
“She pointedly noted that American institutions such as Johns Hopkins may have a valid domestic injury claim against Lahey within the US.”
Bermuda’s Attorney General, Kathy Lynn Simmons said on Friday, that on this end, the case is closed, now that the US judge dismissed the case after she found that Bermuda suffered no loss in the United States.
In response to the AG’s statement, Mr Moniz said: “As Attorney General, I made the decision to issue proceeding following an exhaustive investigation.
“Throughout the entire process, I acted on the basis of legal advice and in the best interests of the community.
“Ultimately, the case was dismissed on a technical ground, namely that there is insufficient domestic injury in the US to bring a case before the American Courts.
“This is a fast-moving area of the law, with the US Supreme Court only deciding to narrow the relevant legal test in the summer of 2016, well after the investigation into Lahey’s affairs began. A further appeal would be needed to clarify this point,” he added.
“It is important to point out that the case was based on compelling evidence and that the complaint was meticulously well-sourced – in many instances, with the very words of those involved.”
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