The following statement was released on Tuesday, June 27 by Opposition Leader Cole Simons – One Bermuda Alliance…

Recently the Premier David Burt confirmed the appointment of a government consultant to the Middle East, costing the taxpayer $240,000 over the next year. 

He indicated that Ms Alexi Hefti, a lawyer, has been hired by the Government on a 12-month contract “to realize the full scope of opportunities presented in the United Arab Emirate area, which includes Dubai, and Abu Dhabi”.

We have gathered that Ms Hefti will be Bermuda’s registered representative in the UAE and her role will be similar to the responsibility held by Ms Kimberley Durrant, our well qualified and experienced Bermudian-registered representative to the UK and Ms Aliyyah Ahad in Brussels, Belgium for the EU. 

Additionally, we have learned that the Premier consulted with the Governor and the British Government before Ms Hefti’s appointment last month, and that the post still needs approval from Whitehall.  

What is going on here?  

How can the Premier agree to this appointment, before the appropriate and final approvals were granted by the Governor and the United Kingdom? 

Another concern which has been brought to our attention is the fact that Ms Hefti’s husband , HE Gabriel Abed also signed a consultancy and advisory agreement to the Government of Bermuda in 2018.   

He is a digital asset and block-chain technology specialist, and he has helped the Premier and the PLP Government establish its policies and best practices relating to block-chain and crypto-currencies. He is outstanding in his field, but it appears that both husband and wife are feeding from Bermuda’s economic trough. How much was Mr Abed paid for his services?