Kim Wilson: The country needs answers sooner rather than later. *File photo
Kim Wilson: The country needs answers sooner rather than later. *File photo

Pending court action should not prevent the Premier from responding to the allegations of impropriety levelled at him.

This according to Shadow Attorney General, Kim Wilson, who told the Sun it is ‘premature’ for Craig Cannonier to say he cannot comment on the claims because the matter is before the courts.

Mr Cannonier announced this week he would sue Opposition Leader, Marc Bean, and PLP MP David Burt, for slander over claims he had been offered and had himself offered a bribe.

The Premier ended the press conference on Wednesday saying: “As this is now a legal matter, I have no further comment.”

However, Ms Wilson, who is a lawyer, told the Sun that the rules of sub judice only come into effect once the writ for slander had been served on the two PLP MPs.

She said: “When such serious allegations of corruption and bribery are raised as against the Premier of Bermuda, in order to best restore public confidence in our Parliamentary processes , it is imperative that the public be provided with answers to those allegations.

“What is now disturbing is the attempt by the Hon Premier to decline to provide any answers on the basis that the matter is with his attorneys, thereby implying that the matter is sub judice.

“The legal principle of sub judice restricts comments pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue or influencing the court.

“The challenge, however, is that this principle (loosely defined as meaning before the court) can not yet be relied upon.

“As I understand it, no Writ for slander has been served on either the Opposition leader Marc Bean or MP David Burt, thereby rendering reliance on the rule premature.”

Meanwhile, the Premier has remained tightlipped about apparent discrepancies over why his business manager joined him and two Cabinet members on a trip that has become known as ‘Jetgate’.

Bumming a ride?

A PLP spokesman claimed on Wednesday that Minister Shawn Crockwell’s revelation on radio that the business manager was a participant in a meeting held with an investor was in contradiction to the Premier’s account.

The statement said: “Minister Crockwell’s revelation contradicts the claim of Premier Craig Cannonier that his Business Manager was only ‘bumming a ride’ to Washington DC on the investor’s private jet.

“Once and for all, we are calling on Premier Cannonier to come clean with all of the facts surrounding this trip to Washington, DC. 

“The public has the right to know who all the participants were, what was discussed, what deals were brokered (if any) and any other pertinent details.”

The Bermuda Sun contacted the Premier’s spokesperson for clarification on the issue but we were simply told: “No comment”.