Williams attacks ‘absurd witch-hunt’

  • Police at the home of Justin Williams in Point Shares, Pembroke, on November 9 (File photograph by Paul Johnston)

    Police at the home of Justin Williams in Point Shares, Pembroke, on November 9 (File photograph by Paul Johnston)

  • “Absurd witch hunt”: Justin Williams (File photograph)

    “Absurd witch hunt”: Justin Williams (File photograph)

Prominent lawyer Justin Williams “categorically” denied any wrongdoing yesterday and branded an investigation by the Bermuda Police Service “an absurd witch-hunt”.

Police announced on New Year’s Eve that they were seeking the return of Mr Williams to Bermuda from the United States to be interviewed as they continue a criminal investigation.

The lawyer responded by claiming police had sensationalised the issue with their handling of the case, which included a raid on his Fairylands home on November 9.

He denied possessing any illegal firearms and “any allegations of corruption or matters involving vulnerable persons”.

Mr Williams, who said he had been living in the US to seek medical treatment and professional development, also claimed that police know where he is, but had not replied to his offers to speak with them.

He said in a statement to The Royal Gazette: “I have offered, through my attorneys, to speak with the BPS via any one of many communications options about these matters, but they have not replied to any of these offers.

“In fact, I am yet to be provided with any details as to what allegations, if any, are being made against me, except that which has been reported to the public media.

“I can say that any firearms present in my residence would be lawful under the Firearm Act or properly registered under the same legislation.

“As for any allegations of corruption or matters involving vulnerable persons, I categorically deny any wrongdoing whatsoever.”

Neighbours on Point Shares Road said that Mr Williams had not been spotted for several weeks before the raid, and had remained missing since then.

A police spokesman said two days ago: “We are investigating several matters including firearms, corruption and crime-related matters.

“If there is anyone in the neighbourhood who is aware of anything they would like to speak to us about, they can speak to our Vulnerable Persons Unit in confidence”.

Mr Williams said: “I am not avoiding in any way dealing with this matter and the BPS is aware of where I am and why I am here.

“They are also aware that they have given me almost no detail as to what it is they seek from me and, in those circumstances, I cannot justify squandering the significant resources expended to seek the treatment and development I had committed to overseas by abruptly returning to deal with unspecified matters raised by the BPS in what appears to be an absurd witch-hunt.”

Police seized items after spending several hours at Mr Williams’s home on November 9. They also searched a boat connected to the property.

One warrant was executed under the Firearms Act and another under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

Mr Williams said: “It is unfortunate that the BPS has chosen to sensationalise this issue in the way that they have.

“The BPS had ample opportunity to speak with me about any concerns they may have had, yet they chose to wait until after I had left Bermuda to seek medical treatment and professional development before attending my residence with a warrant in my absence.

“Had they presented themselves prior to my departure I would have invited them in, and the warrant would have been unnecessary.”

Mr Williams did not respond to questions on his current location or the medical treatment and professional development he is receiving by press time yesterday.

He also did not respond when asked if he will return to Bermuda, the status of his law firm, and whether he was still the chairman of St John Ambulance Bermuda.

Mr Williams, the founder of Williams Barristers&Attorneys, is a former president of the Bermuda Bar Council and has served as an acting magistrate.

Mr Williams has been a long-term friend of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, the lawyer Cherie Booth QC.

The Royal Gazette approached the BPS for a response to Mr Williams’s comments, but did not receive a reply by press time.

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