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Brown hits back after raids

Ewart Brown, the former premier, has fired back at police after two of his private clinics were raided over the weekend by officers from the Organised and Economic Crime Department.

Vowing to “fight with our last cent and to our final breath”, Dr Brown said that patient confidentiality remained his top concern — branding the police actions, which included seizing information, “unnecessary”, and an assault on his reputation and business.

He described himself as “offended, saddened, dismayed and alarmed, but not surprised” after police bearing warrants entered Bermuda Healthcare Services and Brown-Darrell Clinic on Saturday — breaking a window to gain entry to the latter facility.

Dr Brown said police had disabled security cameras, and had not permitted management to observe their searches.

Noting that last May, Mahesh Reddy, the medical director at Bermuda Healthcare Services, had been arrested in connection with a “financial investigation”, Dr Brown's statement yesterday came with a timeline dating back to June 2011 when he came under investigation “ostensibly for political corruption”.

This was in reference to the 2011 trial of businessman David Bolden, who was ultimately cleared by the Supreme Court along with his wife Antoinette of theft and money laundering, but found guilty of one count of misleading the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

During that trial Mr Bolden, whom Dr Brown accused of perjury, alleged corruption on the former premier's part. Yesterday, Dr Brown called it “specious junk” and said that, six years on, police had yet to divulge any findings.

“The public deserves to know,” Dr Brown said.

“I deserve to be exonerated. As I have said often, they have found no political corruption, because there was no political corruption.”

Dr Reddy's arrest last year made it “clear that what originated as a suspicious prosecution has now become a dogged persecution”, he added — saying the “witch hunt” had cost $2.2 million by July 2016.

Last month, Dr Reddy was approved by the Supreme Court to pursue a lawsuit against police for unlawful arrest.

In the latest turn, Dr Brown said he had “no idea” what police had done during the more than 24 hours in the two clinics, saying the raids had caused distress for staff and patients.

Suggesting that the tactics were reminiscent of racist ploys used in the past against black businesses, Dr Brown questioned the role of police in 2008, when he was still Premier, and two cheques were discovered, purportedly made out to Dr Brown and to the then Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess.

Dr Brown also queried why sole-sourcing of contracts under the United Bermuda Party, or the Jetgate scandal that dogged the One Bermuda Alliance, had not been brought before the Commission of Inquiry — saying it smacked of “past days of privilege and unfair, racist treatment”.

Dr Brown was off the island over the weekend, and said he had been unable to return home because of a commitment to his wife, Wanda.

According to a source close to the case, a judge yesterday ordered police to return “all medical files” to both clinics — with Dr Brown vowing to take “every step legally available” to secure patients' records.

On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on what we consider to be a controversial or contentious story. 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.

Dr Ewart Brown, the former Premier

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Published February 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm (Updated February 14, 2017 at 10:38 am)

Brown hits back after raids

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