A further press report concerning the missing then found, report about drug trafficking. 

Missing investigation

Judge Stanley Moore has told the Mid Ocean News that the reason a report on a money-laundering investigation which was never prosecuted was not taken up by the Serious Crimes Inquiry was because it lay outside the Commission’s terms of reference.  Judge Moore said the Commission’s terms of reference stated the inquiry should concern itself with crime which involve serious personal injury such as the use of violence or endangering life and for which the offender could be sentenced to ten years or more in prison.

It may be inarguable to most people that laundering the profits of drug smuggling is part and parcel of endangering life since the drugs trade is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people every year.

But Judge Moore Can, and doubtless will, argue that a literal interpretation of the terms of reference means that the actual act of moving the profits from the illegal drugs trade from one place to another in order to hide their origins does not, in and of itself, cause physical harm to anyone.

If this is the position he wishes to take then so be it.

But that does not mean that the authorities decision not to prosecute this case should be ignored. The fact that it was not carried forward at the time needs to be explained and the question of whether other similar crimes were also rejected for prosecution should also be answered.

Judge Moore said that he felt he and his colleagues “faithfully discharged their mandate” in the short time allowed to them. Not everyone – and certainly not the family of Rebecca Middleton – would agree.  It seems clear that the Commission failed both to get to the bottom of the botched prosecution of the Middleton case and to lay out a satisfactory way forward for the a successful prosecution of other serious crimes.

Indeed, the report seemed to find plenty of fault with the Police and a prosecutor who refused to take up the prosecution of Justice Smith while letting the rest of the Attorney General’s chambers off the hook for the reckless and premature decision to accept the evidence of Kirk Mundy which later turned out to be completely incredible.

 To be sure, there was plenty of blame to go around in the Middleton case, but it is quite clear that in ignoring the responsibilities of the Attorney General and his colleagues that Judge Moore and his colleagues did perform a whitewash, as the US FBI has stated.  The reasons for that may never be known, but in doing so they only succeeded in dragging the reputation of Bermuda’s prosecuting arm further into the mud.

 Now however, Bermuda has the opportunity to at least clean up some of its muddied reputation.  Government House must launch a new inquiry into the decision not to prosecute.  The inquiry should be held in public and with complete privilege to give evidence given to those concerned with the case. Then can the facts of this case come out and a decision made on whether the correct decision was taken or not.

 Only by doing that can Bermuda make it clear that money laundering is unacceptable here and that any and all cases, regardless of who is involved, will be energetically prosecuted. This is the way to ensure that Bermuda has a clean reputation – not by covering up the evidence of these ……… Crimes.




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