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Brown ‘braced for chance of arrest’

Ewart Brown is bracing himself for the possibility of being arrested next week, according to a newspaper interview in the United States.

Speaking to The Boston Globe from the Turks and Caicos, the former premier said he feared the authorities might act when he returned to Bermuda: “They may just do it to embarrass me. The one thing I'm tired of is having it hanging over my head,” he said.

In yesterday's article, the former premier also continued his war of words against Attorney-General Trevor Moniz, who he claimed targeted him in last week's civil complaint because he is a successful, black businessman and political opponent.

“There's a certain amount of personal animus between us,” Dr Brown is quoted as saying.

In the lawsuit, the Bermuda Government accuses Dr Brown and the Lahey Clinic of a bribery-based scheme to profit at the expense of Bermudians, which put patients' health at risk.

Dr Brown gave a telephone interview to the Globe from Turks and Caicos, in which he acknowledged he was well compensated by the Massachusetts-based hospital, but said the payments were for services he provided under a contract that was scrutinised by the hospital to ensure compliance with United States and international regulations.

The civil action alleges Lahey made millions of dollars reading and interpreting medically unnecessary MRI and CT scans performed at Dr Brown's clinics, and that the level of testing led to Bermudians becoming “among the most scanned patients in the world”. Dr Brown argued in the Globe that the island's population is ageing and sickly. “From a medical standpoint, Bermuda would be justified in having more than the US,” he added.

He also disputed claims that his wife, Wanda, bought a $3 million property on Martha's Vineyard with cash he received from Lahey.

He described his wife as a successful investment banker who owned property in Oak Bluffs before they married 14 years ago. She bought the new home after selling the old one, he said.

The Government's complaint also alleges Dr Brown used payments from the scheme to buy properties in New York and Turks and Caicos.

British newspaper The Times has also run a news feature about the lawsuit, under the headline: “Bermuda's PM ‘took bribes in health scam'.”

That article, published on Wednesday, stated: “The claims of years of abuse by Bermuda's most prominent citizen will be embarrassing for the Foreign Office.”

• On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on a story that we deem might inflame sensitivities. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Ewart Brown, the former premier (File photograph)

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Published February 24, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated February 24, 2017 at 6:42 am)

Brown ‘braced for chance of arrest’

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