Burt calls for investigation into Moniz

  • Denies claims: Trevor Moniz, former attorney-general (File photograph)

    Denies claims: Trevor Moniz, former attorney-general (File photograph)

The Premier has called for an investigation into former attorney-general Trevor Moniz.

David Burt accused Mr Moniz of an abuse of power over his handling of the Bermuda Government lawsuit against the US-based Lahey Clinic during Friday’s motion to adjourn in Parliament.

He also claimed that Mr Moniz broke the law by obtaining information from government departments without a court order.

Mr Moniz repeatedly denied the allegations and accused the Premier of “misleading the House”.

Government MPs continued to demand answers from the Shadow Attorney-General about the suit, which named Ewart Brown, a former premier and a doctor, as a co-conspirator with Lahey to defraud the island’s healthcare system of millions of dollars — a case that was dismissed by a US Federal judge.

Mr Burt said: “The facts are that the former attorney-general abused his power. He abused his office and I sincerely hope that the members of the Bermuda Police Service are listening, the members of the DPP that are listening and the persons in Government House and our newly appointed Deputy Governor will launch an investigation into the abuse of power of the former attorney-general.”

Mr Burt added: “He obtained government files unlawfully because he did not obtain a court order before he got access to those government files in a civil recovery investigation and he mishandled that information because he did not have any rules by which that information could be held.”

“He also used the information of which he gained contrary to law because the only way of which he could have done it was through a civil recovery proceeding and that would have been here in Bermuda or he could have filed an external one underneath our mutual legal assistance treaty. But he did not.”

It came after Mr Moniz, who was kicked out of Parliament on March 9 amid a row over files relating to the lawsuit, gave a personal explanation in which he denied shredding documents or using documents from a parallel criminal case to support the civil case.

The One Bermuda Alliance MP also dismissed claims that he had breached the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and Bermuda.

He added: “Everything in the Lahey civil complaint was sourced from locally available evidence owned or maintained by the Government of Bermuda.”

But Mr Burt said: “The only legal method for an attorney-general to obtain government files in the pursuit of a civil recovery investigation is under section 40 of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“And the former attorney-general did not do that, he has broken the law.”

Mr Burt read a request for information from the former attorney-general to the Information Technology Office, which he said showed that Mr Moniz referred to a “transitional clause” that was not in the Proceeds of Crime Act before he went “on to compel public officers to hand over terabytes of data without a court order”.

Mr Moniz repeatedly denied that he had done anything unlawful and accused the government MPs of “misdirection”.

He said the MPs who asked him where he got the information should instead be “concerned with the substance of the allegations”.

His comments came after national security minister Wayne Caines, Government Whip Lawrence Scott, and PLP backbenchers Michael Scott and Zane DeSilva challenged him to explain where he got the information used in the case.

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