*Graphic by Gary Foster Skelton
*Graphic by Gary Foster Skelton
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• PLP accused of using smokescreen to divert attention from corruption probe 


 Union headed for showdown with Government over ‘essential’ services 


• OBA ministers changed car licence plate numbers ‘in response to threats’


• Are some of the above, linked? 

 

The backdrop of corruption probes into a former PLP administration helps explain the ‘political circus’ of recent weeks. 

This from an OBA insider who, along with other sources, claims “it’s all a smokescreen” as they face down a barrage of allegations from the Opposition.

OBA sources say the constant cries of “Jetgate” and “absurd” allegations of bribery levelled at the Premier are designed to deflect attention away from ongoing inquires into the PLP’s time in office.

The question of (a) corruption probe/s was raised this week in the House of Assembly. Details are hard to come by but an Opposition spokesperson told the Bermuda Sun that the PLP “welcomes any and all investigations”.



Corruption ‘smokescreen’?

• Political turmoil set to deepen as parties trade barbs over integrity


‘It’s all smoke and mirrors.’

That’s the claim from inside Government as it faces down a barrage of stinging criticism from across the floor of the House of Assembly.

OBA sources say the constant cries of ‘Jetgate’ and ‘absurd’ allegations of bribery levelled at the Premier are designed to deflect attention away from ongoing inquires into the PLP’s time in office.

An Opposition spokesperson told the Bermuda Sun that the PLP welcomes ‘any and all investigations’.

The question of a corruption probe into the PLPs tenure, which OBA insiders see as the very root of the recent ‘political circus’, was raised this week in the House of Assembly.

PLP MP Michael Scott asked Attorney-General Mark Pettingill if he could confirm that a
specialist prosecution attorney had been engaged by the DPP from the UK to conduct or prepare for a corruption prosecution in Bermuda.

Mr Pettingill said it wasn’t appropriate for him to comment on potential investigations.

Last night, when asked about the matter, Mr Scott added: “Any such engagement, if shown to be true, has wider implications both beyond and including the proper handling of prosecutions in Bermuda. I will continue to monitor the matter.”

But the Sandys North MP would not elaborate any further.

Talk of a probe into the PLP administration comes as the Opposition continues to launch a series of broadside attacks on Government over its integrity and transparency.

The allegations have centred around the so-called ‘JetGate’ trip, as well as claims of impropriety levelled at the Premier and two cabinet colleagues, which have been met with lawsuits.

The PLP says it plans to further press the Premier in the House today on his links and correspondence with Nathan Landow over a prospective casino deal on the island.

This war of words between the rival parties also comes during a period of union unrest that has seen BIU workers take to the streets to air their grievances with Government.

Yesterday one OBA insider told the Sun: “We are absolutely convinced that Jetgate and the other absurd allegations made by members of the Opposition are nothing more than a smokescreen to detract from concerns about ongoing investigations in relation to the previous administration.

“This is clearly evidenced by the questions asked in the House of Assembly about corruption investigations relating to the previous administration and members of the Opposition.”

A PLP spokesmen responded: “The OBA may want to distract attention from the Premier’s behaviour but we in the PLP welcome any and all investigations.

“At the same time we encourage that the same powers that be address the serious allegations, which have been raised about the sitting Premier. 

“We need a high standard of accountability and any wrongdoing by any person in a position of trust, which is contrary to our laws, should be investigated.”