Allegations: Police Have ‘Commenced Inquiries’

June 16, 2011

[Updated] Following the allegations made by David Bolden about former Premier Dr Ewart Brown during his trial last week, Commissioner of Police Michael Desilva said, “The Bermuda Police Service is aware of the allegations and, accordingly, we have commenced inquiries to determine whether any criminal offences have been committed.”

As reported by The Royal Gazette earlier this week, while on the stand during his Supreme Court trial David Bolden made allegations in reference to Dr Brown.

Mr Bolden, along with his wife Antoinette Bolden, went on trial at the Supreme Court on May 9th and were accused of stealing from their company Emerald Capital and laundering some of the money. On June 14th, the couple were found guilty of one count of misleading the Bermuda Monetary Authority, and acquitted on 18 charges of theft and money laundering.

The allegations were not reported during the trial due to legal reasons. Following the verdict further legal issues arose with lawyers on Dr Brown’s behalf seeking an injunction. However, the newspaper prevailed and were subsequently permitted to report the allegations made by Mr Bolden.

OBA Interim Leader John Barritt said, ”These are extremely serious allegations, made under oath in Supreme Court before the Chief Justice of Bermuda. They raise questions about the conduct of the Government of Bermuda that must be answered.”

“The allegations must to be subject to an immediate and thorough Police investigation. Every reasonable and right-thinking person would expect that.”

“Until the allegations are addressed, Bermuda’s international reputation will suffer and we will endure another episode when the integrity of Bermuda’s political leaders is open to question,” concluded Mr Barritt.

Mr Barritt also said he was “surprised” to hear that Mark Pettingill was representing Dr Brown in the matter, however said he recognized he is an attorney and practicing his profession. Mr Pettingill, an OBA MP, is representing Dr Brown along with Marc Daniels. We are expecting a comment from them later today, and hope to update as able.

Update 12:56pm: UBP MP Kim Swan said, “The comments by Mr. David Bolden revealed during the case about former Premier Dr Ewart Brown and an unidentified Minister, are startling and serious particularly since the time in question relates to the period when he (Dr. Brown) was the Premier of Bermuda and/or a Minister of the Government.

“Former Premier Dr. Brown is also well served being formally represented by the services of a capable lawyer, legislator Mr. Mark Pettingill MP of the OBA as his counsel, who ironically also sits in the House of Parliament on opposite benches to the government he (Dr. Brown) served.”

“For the record, I concurred with Premier Paula Cox’s initial statement that:”…. it is important that allegations of this type are investigated by the appropriate authorities to determine if there are any indications of impropriety”

Update 1:15pm: A statement released by Dr Brown called the allegations an “outrageous accusation” and a “total fabrication,” and pointed out that Mr Bolden was standing trial for theft at the time he made the allegations.

The statement went on to say that the “attempt to involve” Dr Brown’s wife was “particularly egregious and will result in a separate legal response.” It concluded by saying, “I solemnly promise to do everything in my power under the law to ensure that Bolden faces the full force of the law,” and referenced the pursuit of prosecution for perjury.

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