Politicians remain quiet on alleged New York trip
Three politicians, including the Premier, last night remained silent over a planned trip to New York in June
The trip was last week called into question in the House of Assembly by the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance.
The Royal Gazette asked David Burt, the Premier, social development minister Zane DeSilva and former independent MP Mark Pettingill:
• Did you have a reservation at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York for June 11?
• What was the purpose of this trip?
• To the best of your knowledge, were any other Bermudian politicians scheduled to stay at the hotel on that night as well?
By press time, responses to the questions had not been received from Mr Burt or Mr DeSilva. Mr Pettingill declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Kristi Blake, the hotel’s PR director, told this newspaper: “Due to privacy laws, I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to release the names of any reservations for any guests, past, future or present.”
A Bermuda Police Service spokesman declined to comment on whether there was an investigation into the trip.
The questions related to a purported trip Mr Burt, then Opposition leader, was to take in June with Mr DeSilva, Mr Pettingill and independent MP Shawn Crockwell. The controversy came up in the reply to the Throne Speech by Opposition Leader Patricia Gordon-Pamplin last Friday.
Ms Gordon-Pamplin told MPs: “We will watch closely the developments of the questionable New York trip that was planned by an unlikely quartet with would-be gaming operators to determine the purpose of their meeting at the Four Seasons, and the benefit to Bermuda, if any.”
The alleged trip was set to take place the day after Mr Crockwell was found dead at his Hamilton Parish home.
Documents which allegedly showed confirmation of the group’s booking at the Four Seasons Hotel on June 11 were widely circulated online and on social media before the General Election in July.
Earlier this week, the Opposition leader said she had evidence of the planned trip from what she described as reliable sources.
Ms Gordon-Pamplin said: “People share information in confidence and, as such, I do not consider it to be appropriate to reveal the exact nature of what has been shared with me without permission.”
On Monday, Acting Commissioner Paul Wright confirmed that an internal investigation into how the images had come to be released had been launched by the independent Police Complaints Authority.
He said: “The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that complaints have been received that persons unknown within the BPS inappropriately disclosed the images.”
Responding during the Throne Speech debate, Mr Burt said: “There was no trip to meet with, as I quote, ‘would-be gaming operators’.
“It was a figment of the imagination of the One Bermuda Alliance and those persons of whom they wanted to put in the campaign.”
Mr DeSilva said: “The honourable Opposition leader has quoted something that was on social media. Or did she get it from a friend in the police force maybe? Or someone that had access to Mr Shawn Crockwell’s phone?”
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