Brown wants CoI over investigation
Former premier Ewart Brown has called for a Commission of Inquiry to look into the conduct of the police and the Attorney-General’s Department relating to the “endless investigation” into him.
Dr Brown, through his legal team, has written to Governor John Rankin branding the six-year inquiry as a targeted campaign against him and his businesses, questioning whether it was a “persecution rather than a prosecution”.
His lawyer Jerome Lynch, QC, told the media the commission could be a one-person panel — unlike the recent four-strong Commission of Inquiry tasked to investigate financial irregularities highlighted in Auditor-General reports — and suggested that Sir John Swan, the former premier, could be a suitable candidate.
Dr Brown’s letter states: “It is our view that the endless investigation into Dr Brown is an abuse of executive power subjecting him to intolerable strain and inflicting a degree of suffering that no citizen in a civilised country should have to endure.
“It seems to us the only way to discover the answers to those questions is to invite Your Excellency to instigate a Commission of Inquiry under the powers granted to you by Section 1 of the Commission of Inquiry Act 1935 to look into the conduct of the Bermuda Police Service and the Attorney-General’s department for the benefit of the public welfare again within the meaning of the Act.”
The letter accuses the authorities of systematically harassing Dr Brown’s colleagues and friends and cites a string of incidents including the arrest of physician Mahesh Reddy, recent searches of Dr Brown’s businesses; Bermuda Healthcare Services and the Brown-Darrell Clinic, and the Government’s lawsuit against the Lahey Clinic as evidence of the “protracted and relentless” campaign against him.
Dr Brown also takes aim at the Bermuda Health Council for slashing the fees payable for MRI and CT scans “without merit”.
The letter goes on to state: “There can be no doubt that the Bermudian state has now spent millions of dollars investigating everything that Dr Brown has done over the past 20 years and come up with nothing after six years.
“The time has come to find out if this investigation is in fact a persecution rather than a prosecution, whether it is borne of personal animus rather than a genuine inquiry into suspected criminal conduct, whether this is politically driven rather than independently investigated.”
Dr Brown’s call for a Commission of Inquiry was announced by Mr Lynch at a press conference at the Hamilton office of Trott & Duncan yesterday morning. Dr Brown was not present.
Mr Lynch said that the police investigation “smacked of some sort of animus”.
The call comes three days after the Supreme Court quashed the arrest of Dr Reddy, ruling that the summary arrest by the Bermuda Police Service was unlawful.
In a hearing last Friday, Chief Justice Ian Kawaley made a further declaration that the subsequent search of Dr Reddy’s home was unlawful, ordering that any items seized be returned to him.
Mr Lynch added: “The judgment in the Reddy case is just one small strand of the campaign against Dr Brown.”
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