Progressive Labour Party MP Michael Scott has called on both the Governor and the Bermuda Police Service “to stop” and bring the ongoing eight-year investigation and $6 million costs to Bermuda’s taxpayers on former Premier Dr Ewart Brown to an end.
Speaking during the Motion to Adjourn in the House of Assembly on Friday night, Mr Scott stated outright that despite years of probing and the multi-million dollar price tag to date, has failed to produce any formal charges against the former PLP leader.
He also took the former One Bermuda Alliance administration to task for the lawsuit, launched by former Attorney General and OBA MP Trevor Moniz against the Lahey Hospital, alleging that Dr Brown ordered unnecessary diagnostic scans through his clinics in Bermuda.
Dr Brown has consistently denied any wrongdoing saying the investigation is politically motivated.
“My speech this evening is for this to stop, and this investigation to come to an end,” he said.
“Some other agenda is taking place here,” Mr Scott said, adding: “It falls straight into the context of how things used to be done in this country,” he added.
Likening the investigation to the persecution of the late Reverend Charles Vinton Monk, who was prosecuted for libel for telling the truth about the abuse of West Indian workers employed at Dockyard more than a century ago in Bermuda.
He also said the late Julian Hall was similarly persecuted.
“When they showed strong leadership, they were worn down; they were attacked. I call for these Monk, Hall and now Brown kinds of attack to stop,” he said.
To date, $6 million has been spent on the investigation and Lahey Clinic.
Commissioner of Police, Stephen Corbishley has said the investigation will continue.
According to Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, the total cost to taxpayers has reached $6,096,437.03.
“We have the opportunity to see the cost to the taxpayer,” he said, while stating that now is the time to decide whether to end the investigation or put present charges to the courts.
“It’s now an opportunity for us to put this case to the Bar or allow this matter to take a natural course, and go another direction,” he said.
The figures were released in the Lower House as a result of Parliamentary Questions from Derrick Burgess, the Deputy Speaker of the House.
“This investigation of Dr Brown, you know what I think it started from? When the Uighurs came here, Dr Brown and the Colonel Burch brought them in here,” said Mr Burgess.
He suggest that because Dr Brown’s decision to secretly bring four Uighurs to Bermuda from the US detention centre in Guantánamo Bay, in Cuba in June 2009, “Government House were so incensed” that a decision was made to “make his life a living hell”.
Mr Burgess also asked for the total cost of the legal fees paid both in Bermuda and overseas, and the names of the law firms involved in the case.
The Minister told MPs that Marshal Diel & Myers had been paid $862,220 as part of the investigation into Dr Brown and the Boston law firm Cooley LLP had been paid $1,102,784 for the lawsuit proceedings against Lahey.
Mr Caines also said that a legal consultant hired by former Attorney-General Trevor Moniz had received “just over $300,000”.
When asked by Mr Burgess if the work done by the local firm could have been completed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Minister Caines replied: “I cannot speak to that.”
According to the Commissioner of Police, staffing costs to date stands at roughly $3.5 million, or $500,000 per year.
He is quoted as saying: “It is in the public’s interest that when serious allegations are made, then an investigation to establish the actual facts must take place, irrespective of the time that this may take, and without fear or favour.
“Therefore, the BPS will continue to investigate these matters, thoroughly and expeditiously, in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions team,” he said.
The Minister also provided a breakdown of the costs for this investigation:
- For man hours in Bermuda and overseas: $4,688,184
- For airline and ground transportation: $64,345
- For accommodation in Bermuda and overseas: $80,900
When asked by Mr Scott if the money spent so far could have been better spent to help improve Bermuda’s public schools, Minister Caines did not answer the question.