Restrictions on flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented police officers from travelling abroad to question a prominent lawyer in connection with guns from the Royal Bermuda Regiment and the “suspected supply of drugs and inappropriate behaviour towards minors”.
Police Commissioner Stephen Corbishley issued a statement on Wednesday in follow up to that raid at the home of Justin Williams, in Fairylands, Pembroke last November.
“Following this search and interviews with numerous persons, the Serious Crime Unit of the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) began an investigation into matters relating to Mr Williams’ alleged involvement in the purchase of firearms from the Royal Bermuda Regiment, in association with another male, alongside the suspected supply of drugs and inappropriate behaviour towards minors.
“Since this time, Mr Williams has remained in the United States where the BPS has continued to liaise, in consultation with the FBI, with his legal representative to facilitate an interview with his client,” said Mr Corbishley.
“Originally, Mr Williams’ lawyer insisted on a video interview for his client, which was initially rejected by the BPS, given normal procedure is to undertake a recorded interview in person.
“However, given the current restrictions in travel due to the Covid pandemic, the BPS has since offered the opportunity to meet Mr Williams’ offer of video interview, but we have yet to hear from his legal team as to whether he will agree to this,” he added.
“The BPS is keen to resolve this matter as soon as possible, not least as a second male is connected to the firearms matters under investigation.
“The BPS will continue to press for the earliest opportunity to complete interviews, either through remote conferencing means or, when flights permit, in person in the US.”
Earlier reports indicated that this investigation also involved the regiment’s former Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel David Curley, who went on leave last October.
Colonel Curley was replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Ben Beasley earlier this month after Col Curley reached the end of his three-year appointment.
To date, no charges have been brought against Colonel Curley or Mr Williams.
In a statement issued earlier this year, Mr Williams confirmed that he received two deactivated weapons from Warwick Camp for display purposes.
He also stated that he did not pay for them.
“I can confirm that I received two destroyed, defunct, incapable of firing projectiles and inoperable artefacts from the Royal Bermuda Regiment for historical/theatrical display purposes only.
“No money was paid for these. The entire process was conducted with and by the Bermuda Police Service and Royal Bermuda Regiment, with full certification and all approvals,” he said.
“I was and I am always ready to co-operate with any reasonable requests regarding any issues and the actions of the BPS in this matter evidences a level of harassment and unreasonableness that could have been easily avoided if they had simply asked me about these show guns before raiding my home.
“I still remain co-operative, notwithstanding their actions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BPS urged anyone with information related to the investigation to contact its Vulnerable Persons Unit on 247-1678 or through 211.
All information “will be dealt with professionally and sensitively”.
- Top Feature Photo: williams.bm