Bank Transfer? Mark Pettingill is reportedly heading to Clarien Bank *File photo
Bank Transfer? Mark Pettingill is reportedly heading to Clarien Bank *File photo

Question marks still loom over the JetGate saga as the country waits for the findings of an internal OBA investigation.

Unknown facts about the trip continue to abound, as they have for months.

Mark Pettingill’s resignation yesterday  — he will take up a position in the private sector — will only add to the intrigue in the eyes of sceptical observers.

And a review of transcriptions of the discussion during House of Assembly proceedings this year show that Mr Pettingill was among the OBA MPs who effectively blocked efforts to determine what exactly occurred between former Premier Craig Cannonier and American developer Nathan Landow. Clear answers have been few and far between.

On March 3, Opposition leader Marc Bean and Attorney General Mark Pettingill engaged in an extended back and forth about JetGate. The AG tried to shut down discussion of the trip, arguing that the matter was sub judice, meaning it was being considered by a court, and therefore should not have been discussed in the house.

“He should be well aware, because he has a writ in hand, that if he skates into certain areas it is sub judice,” said Mr Pettingill. “There are facts that are to be aired out in other places.”

Mr Bean rejected that notion and continued to hammer the government for a lack of transparency. 

Mr Bean also suggested the trip violated the rules of the Ministerial Code of Conduct and said there were differing accounts of the trip, which caused Mr Cannonier to say Mr Bean was misleading the House.

“There is no conflicting stories here, none whatsoever,” he said at the time.

Four days later, Independent MP Terry E. Lister,  vented his frustration about the differing stories of the JetGate.

“You are doing it again! I have stayed out of JetGate. But, Mr Speaker, three men on a plane become four men on a plane,” he said. “Stop it! It is lying to this House!”

On March 17th, a discussion of hotel management on the island somehow veered into JetGate as well. Wayne Furbert, the shadow minister for finance, wanted to know why Stephen DaCosta was on the plane to meet with Mr Landow.

He asked Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell, “Can the minister tell me why we need the general manager of Esso — of the Premier’s — in the meeting for the hotel development?”

In response, Mr Crockwell cited sub judice: “We have gone down this path already and had extensive debate on whether something is sub judice or not. But, again, that the meeting that the Honourable Member is referring to was not a discussion of a particular development in Bermuda. Mr Chairman, for the record, I am not going to entertain any further questions on this subject.”

Mr Furbert, like Mr Bean before him, rejected that argument.

“Someone has to answer the question eventually. Answer the question. Why was he in the meeting? I know he was bumming a ride and then all of a sudden he ends up in a meeting with a developer.”

On March 21, multiple PLP MPs as well as Mr Lister peppered Mr Cannonier with questions about Mr DaCosta’s presence at a meeting with Mr Landow. The then-Premier stated those questions had already been answered in the media: “Again, Mr. Speaker, it has already been put out there in the public, the answers to these questions. And so there is no need to be redundant and ask them over and over and over,” said Mr Cannonier in response to one inquiry. “We are asking the same questions over and over and over.”