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PLP MPs back inquiry into Lahey Clinic case

Former attorney-general Trevor Moniz (File photograph)

The Premier has signalled his support for a Commission of Inquiry into former attorney-general Trevor Moniz and the handling of a Government lawsuit against US medical group the Lahey Clinic.

Zane DeSilva, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher and former minister, asked for a Commission of Inquiry in the House of Assembly on Friday.

Several MPs, including former Attorney-General Michael Scott and David Burt, backed the bid.

Mr Burt told MPs that the country wanted the truth.

He said: “We have to ask ourselves, will we find that truth? How are we going to find out how that happened? How was it sanctioned? Should we trust the Bermuda Police Service?

“Or maybe we can let an independent Commission of Inquiry to find out the truth.”

Mr Moniz on Friday faced more criticism from the Progressive Labour Party ranks in the wake of controversy over files related to the legal action against Lahey.

A US judge dismissed a case against Lahey in March.

Government alleged the medical group conspired with Ewart Brown, a former premier and a doctor, to defraud the island of millions of dollars in healthcare charges.

It has been alleged that Mr Moniz, or others on his behalf, destroyed documents connected to the court case. But Mr Moniz said the files were with Boston-based law firm Cooley, which handled the American case.

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Progressive Labour Party Attorney-General, said in August that two “very sensitive” civil lawsuits launched by Mr Moniz had cost taxpayers more than $2 million and had been handled in an “unprecedented and concerning” way.

Mr Moniz said then that Ms Simmons could have sought guidance from legal advisers and that several cases under investigation had generated extensive files that had been kept at external legal offices.

Mr DeSilva told MPs that a Commission of Inquiry launched under the former One Bermuda Alliance administration into the financial conduct of a previous PLP administration was an election ploy paid for by the Bermudian people.

He said an investigation into Dr Brown has cost between $4 million and $6 million.

Mr DeSilva asked: “What have they found? How much longer will they continue to deliver zero?

“When are we going to get a report on this investigation and the millions of dollars of tax payer money that we are spending?”

Mr DeSilva added: “I’m calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the actions of the former Attorney-General, Trevor Moniz, when he was acting in that position.”