Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Orlando and Neil Smith's Testimony regarding BVI Airways:

The bribe was never in doubt ("If it walks like a dog, barks like a dog, and looks like a dog, it must be a dog"). But the COI's lack of moral authority and legal standing to deal with BVI internal affairs is also not in doubt. Because bribery is a crime against the community, but colonialism is a crime against humanity.
I don't think anybody in BVI needed further evidence than what has been well-known for many years to believe that those involved in the BVI Airways scandal took rather large bribes. Even with half of what’s been known for years, this conclusion comes without saying.

BVI people also understand that the potential legal case against the government officials who took the bribe has expired, mainly because the previous Governor covered it up. Whether he covered it up because he got some of the proceeds or because of some other reason is now not important. The money’s gone.

And they understand that it is unjust and very frustrating that a great deal of public money has disappeared into private pockets. That’s politics, as usual, as everywhere.

This money has gone into private pockets, and legally it is not possible to get it back.

It can also be assumed that this is not the first time this has happened, and will not be the last time.

Politicians who have access to the public’s money change periodically. But, as in any other democracy, bribery is the main motivation for most politicians to get elected and control public budgets, so the outgoing lot is replaced by an incoming lot with a similar appetite for public larceny.

Is there anybody in BVI that goes into politics to get paid less than the $85,000 the British health minister's mistress received in fees and benefits from the English taxpayer's money in exchange for the 6 months’ sex services she provided to Matt Hancock, the Right Honourable Health Minister ?

Should anybody believe that the current government is more honest than its predecessor? Or that the UK government the COI represents is any less corrupt than the BVI government that the COI investigates?

The only difference in this context between the UK and BVI is the acronymic letters of the names of the two territories, not the DNA of politics in those territories.

Thus, along with the compliments that COI Counsel Bilal Rawat definitely deserves for the professional questions he posed, it must not be forgotten that the damage the COI has come to cause is greater than the benefit the COI is pretending to provide.

The COI did not come to fix corruption, but to replace those who benefit from it.

Actually, the only standing that the COI has to deal with this case is left-over colonialism.

And while bribery is a crime against the community, colonialism is a crime against humanity.

Therefore, I am not sure who holds the higher moral standing to investigate whom. The COI to investigate the BVI or the BVI to investigate the corrupt Government that the COI is representing.

To me, the current BVI government, as well as the previous one, is much less corrupt than the government their colonial investigators are representing.

“Sir” Gary Hickinbottom, who is heading up the COI investigating BVI, has no real qualification to be in charge of this fishing inquiry other than that he was appointed unilaterally by the UK without local consultation or invitation.

The double standards of the colonial rule of English law is the problem, not the solution.

How ironic it is then, that he represents a corrupt government which just in the past month has

(1) spent millions of dollars buying face masks without a tender from a company in which the minister who signed the order “forgot” he had 30% shares;

(2) spent billions of pounds buying out-dated tanks to fight against ... nobody;

(3) allowed the PM to get away with stealing a large amount of money to renovate his personal apartment; and

(4) discovered that the Health Minister was not only breaking the lockdown rules he implemented, but was financing his wild sex-life with the tax-payers' money.

Perhaps a little more than ironic: maybe even a tad hypocritical?

Because, as usual with colonialism, it's always the ones with the dirty hands pointing their fingers.

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