Commission: Derrick Burgess Witness Statement

November 28, 2016

MP and former Cabinet Minister Derrick Burgess provided an “additional witness statement” in relation to the Commission of Inquiry [COI], which resumed their hearings today.

Mr Burgess — who served as Minister of Works and Engineering from December 2007 — gave evidence before the COI last month, and said he now offers “additional evidence” and “observations with respect to the COI’s proceedings generally.”

“The terms of reference for the COI do not include race; however, the issue of race has found its way into the COI’s establishment and proceedings,” Mr Burgess said.

He also said, “I note with great concern the absence of any questions from the COI regarding the fraudulent cheques that were placed in a filing cabinet in the Department of Architectural Design and Construction seemingly to tarnish the names and reputations of the Premier and a Government Minister of the day.”

The statement also said, “I do not believe that the establishment of the COI is an honest attempt by the current Government to review critically the past and to improve upon the future. If so, why weren’t the tender procedures surrounding the airport contract reviewed also at this time?

“In his response to questions from the COI’s lawyers, Mr. Marc Telemaque, Secretary, Ministry of National Security, candidly stated that ‘nothing has changed’. So, what is the purpose of this inquiry? I have concluded that this inquiry is not about seeking the truth by looking at all aspects of events during 2010-2012.

“This inquiry is not commissioned to improve our Government. Instead, this inquiry is an attempt by the current Government to point fingers and disavow a prior Government as it seeks to regain the Government at the next General Election.”

Mr Burgess’ witness statement follows below [PDF here]

click here Bermuda Commission of Inquiry into the Auditor's Report

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