Progressive Labour Party MP and former Minister of Tourism Zane DeSilva was formally charged in Magistrates’ Court this morning with making false claims over that controversial fundraising dinner party at Blu last year.
He appeared in court with his daughter, Zarah Harper and Angela Caldwell, of MEF, who were each charged with two offences.
The Crown contends that “on or about July 1, 2020, in the islands of Bermuda gave a public officer at the Ministry of National Security information which you did not believe to be true knowing it to be likely that you would thereby cause, a public officer to do something which such public officer would not otherwise do; namely that you provided a letter stating that an event would be a charity fundraising dinner in order to be granted an exemption to hold a large group gathering under the Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) Regulations – contrary to section 145(a) of Criminal Code”.
The second charge: “On or about July 1, 2020, in the islands of Bermuda, dishonestly, with a view to gain for yourself or another, in furnishing information to seek an exemption to hold a large group gathering under the Public Health (COVID- 19 Emergency Powers) Regulations produced a document to the Ministry of National Security required for an accounting purpose, which to your knowledge was or may have been misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular,’ contrary to section 351(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.”
None of the defendants were required to enter a plea as the case is bound for the Supreme Court.
Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe released all three defendants on $5,000 bail. The case was set down for the arraignment session next month on April 1.