Kyril Burrows tells jury he’s the victim of Minister’s vendetta

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  • Delcina Bean-Burrows and Kyril Burrows (Photo by Mark Tatem)

    Delcina Bean-Burrows and Kyril Burrows (Photo by Mark Tatem)

Alleged fraudster Kyril Burrows suggested he was the victim of a personal vendetta by Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, as he protested his innocence at Supreme Court again yesterday.

Mr Burrows made out Mr Burgess campaigned against him in his role as Works and Engineering Minister, during the period the buildings manager is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars.

In his closing speech yesterday, Mr Burrows read out an e-mail which has previously been dismissed as a cut and pasted fabrication.

He insisted Prospect chief surveyor David Brown had written him the message on June 2, 2008, spelling out details of a conversation with Permanent Secretary Robert Horton.

“We both agreed that Dill is correct when he told you he can’t protect you against the Minister,” Mr Burrows said the e-mail stated.

He said the e-mail indicated Mr Burgess had a vendetta against Mr Burrows “going back to the Berkeley project”.

Mr Horton advised Mr Burrows to move away from the Minister’s threat, according to the document read out by Mr Burrows.

He said Mr Brown had written: “It’s unfortunate that you should be subject to a personal vendetta.

“This Minister is certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even a blunt knife is dangerous when used with enough force.”

Mr Burrows told the jury such threats were common in Works and Engineering.

Prosecutor Susan Mulligan has previously accused Mr Burrows of fabricating e-mails as part of his defence.

British computer forensic expert Paul Weall has said fake e-mails appeared to have been created on Mr Burrows’ home computer by cutting and pasting real one from the Government server and manipulating them in Microsoft Word.

The documents were stored in files entitled “deception e-mail evidence”.

But Mr Burrows argued yesterday: “I can assure you that none of the e-mails were fabricated.”

Mr Burrows is accused of using Government money to renovate the house he and wife Delcina Bean-Burrows shared in Turkey Hill, St George’s, and abusing his position as buildings manager to use purchase orders to buy goods for his home.

The pair are also accused of directing public cash into Mrs Bean-Burrows’ businesses for work that was never carried out. In total the alleged fraud is said to be worth more than $553,000.

Yesterday, Mr Burrows claimed measures were in place to stop people stealing Government cash.

He also alleged two of the prosecution’s key witnesses, construction bosses John White and Allan Foote, were unreliable.

The jury has seen numerous invoices showing how Mr White and Mr Foote were paid Government money to do work at Turkey Hill.

Mr Burrows said he did not deny Mr White and Mr Foote worked at Turkey Hill, but insisted they were paid in cash.

He said: “It became apparent Mr White was acting out of fear. He was constantly looking at the Crown to get information.

“Mr Foote took the opportunity of this indictment to volunteer at a late stage to become a witness driven by the anger of being fired off my site.”

Mrs Bean-Burrows also made her closing speech yesterday, pointing to what she said were a number of inconsistencies in the Crown’s case.

“They hope you don’t notice some of the obvious gaping holes in the case against myself and my husband,” she told the jury.

One example, she said, was that Mr White said he first met Mr Burrows in June 2005 or 2006, but later said he began working at Turkey Hill in February 2006.

Another, she said, was that a construction worker named Mr Basden told the court he started work at Turkey Hill on February 5, 2006.

That was a Sunday, said Mrs Bean-Burrows, who said Mr Basden had never mentioned anything about getting a permit to pour concrete on a Sunday.

Mr Burrows, 48, and his 49-year-old wife deny 35 charges between them spanning the dates from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2009. The charges cover allegations of cheating, obtaining money transfers by deception, obtaining property by deception, money laundering and false accounting.

The trial continues.

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