Press Injunction



AG slaps injunction on press   

The following is the full speech made by Minister of Justice Philip Perinchief on the criminal justice system.  

comment from

Good afternoon. As your Minister of Justice I stand before you today to tell all Bermudians that their criminal justice system is strong and the scales of justice are stable and balanced as always, despite what the Opposition may allege.   The police service is understaffed and the island has problems with their system.  The corruption laws are apparently antiquated.  If the current system did not have problems, why does the current Government wish to take control of it ... or is this to prevent further investigation of Government members
Last night the Opposition Leader characterized our system of law and order as inept, staffed by people who he thinks are incompetent. Why else would he say he questions the effectiveness of our criminal justice system?   The interpretation of the Opposition Leaders statement is noted.  If you were so sure of your statement why would you follow the comment with a question? 

This is not about the criminal justice system, simply a tit-for-tat bicker between political parties.  Grow up.

Why else would he ask questions investigators have already answered? The questions have NOT been answered.  At least they have not been answered by at least one 'suspect', the leader of his Government, Ewart Brown.  Ewart was not questioned, so to whom has he provided the answers, not the police, not prosecutors and not the Bermuda people.
Why else would he call for a Royal Commission to re-investigate a five year-old case? The obvious answer is that he wishes to ascertain where $8,000,000 of public money is.  If Philip Perinchief knows the answer to this (it appears to be an unanswered question) then possibly he would be so kind as to say.

Possibly the Opposition also want to see the paper trail and understand how the leader of the Government. Ewart Brown, came to make an incredible profit on the sale of his property to the BHC, a Government quango.  How did he come by cedar beams and just how was the building of his new home funded?

why does it matter how old the case is, the Premier has been linked to a scandal, the evidence is now out and questions need answering. It was reported recently that "when the investigation finished in 2004, then acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Kulandra Ratneser, said many of those investigated could only be accused of bad ethics. Mr. Ratneser also said some of the people investigated escaped prosecution due to Bermuda's antiquated corruption laws."

Is this the way the Government would handle the police and their investigations if they had control.  Old cases would never be reinvestigated?

I am offended and I expect hundreds of our country's police officers, prosecutors, and judges are likewise offended.

Together all of us are tasked to make sure the laws of our land are adhered to and that our democracy is protected.
I suspect there is at least one police officer who is offended - offended that the investigation was not pursued thoroughly investigated, that Government ministers were not interviewed and that criminal prosecutions or civil actions did not follow.  It appears an officer will be linked to the leak - an 'offended' person.  Is it likely he  or she is alone.

As a former Bermuda police officer who has seen the lack of action, incompetence and interference in investigations, I am offended that questions have not been asked and that justice has yet to prevail.

It is a job carried out day after day and thanks is not required or expected, but brutal and insupportable criticism is also not expected - especially in a thoughtless political speech delivered by a politician who clearly does not recognize that the responsibility of policing lies with the Governor's Office Criticism is what the police have come to live with. Clearly something is wrong with the island's law enforcement body; the Government wants control of it - what is wrong with the current system?

only two days ago Senator David Burch, Minister of Public Safety was reported as saying, in relation to the police service "Bermuda has real problems" Sen. Burch told the Senate he was unable to do things such as get more officers patrolling the streets and ensure crimes were investigated promptly.  Hardly a glowing endorsement of the service by Mr Perinchief's party!

Further, the same politician blatantly ignored the rules set out by the Broadcast Commission. The speech disseminated by broadcast media, clearly in response to a Government message delivered by the Premier last week, was longer than is allowed and included words that the rules stipulate are prohibited. The proper course of action in this instance is a complaint to the Broadcasting Commission. And that is what we will do. That body will decide whether or not any infractions did or did not occur. Papers leaked 'unlawfully', politicians ignoring rules.  Why?  Possibly because this is the most serious scandal that could be imagined.  Time to rethink Bermuda's corruption laws and the Broadcast Commission's rules.

Possibly the Opposition Minister will explain the breach of the rules, explain himself.  Will Ewart do the same in respect of the allegations linked to him?

What is considered more important by Mr Perinchief, a breach of the Commission's rules or the disappearance of $8,000,000? This appears to be nothing more than a diversionary tactic; divert attention from the real issue ... has the Premier benefited from the BHC scandal?

We are a country of laws and rules and responsible citizens. We always have been. That legacy is strong and stable - and it will continue in strength and stability under this Government. Bermuda has rules that are applied as and when is deemed 'appropriate'.  There are far too many influences affecting whether parties are charged. 

Let's hope there are 'responsible citizens'; it is these people who will come forward and demand answers about the Premier's alleged involvement in the BHC scandal.  Let's hope the flattery applied to these citizens does not deter them from demanding the truth, evidence.

Finally the public should understand that I am taking steps to protect the reputations of your public officials from further unfair attack.

My Chambers will employ all legal means to stop the Mid Ocean News and any other publication from printing or speaking additional content from the stolen investigative documents.

Where's the attack?  facts have been presented to the public and these 'responsible citizens' can make up their own minds - what they are currently denied is the ability to make an informed decision because, whilst they receive much rhetoric, they have yet to receive answers.

'Stolen' investigative documents.  Really, 'stolen'?  Theft is the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.  so, what evidence is there that the property did not belong to whoever leaked it (could it be a high ranking officer who believed they owned the papers - for whatever reason)?  As for dishonest, is it not possible that whoever leaked the documents believed they were acting honestly by ensuring the papers were in t he public domain?  Possibly not, but it is the 'intention to permanently deprive' that gives me most problem when trying to understand how 'stolen' could be applied.

Anyone releasing the documents expecting them to be publicised must have known that the papers would, at some time be returned to the police. How could there be any intention to 'permanently deprive' if the papers were taken to release tot he press, to put into the public domain from where they would be returned?  If the element of 'theft' cannot be established, on what basis is it claimed the papers were 'stolen' - more rhetoric?

To protect a reputation, or to rebuild a reputation, answers are required.

It is clearly dangerous to allow exonerated persons to have their names unfairly soiled or sullied in the press. "unfairly soiled or sullied"???

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Kulandra Ratneser, said many of those investigated could only be accused of bad ethics. Mr. Ratneser also said some of the people investigated escaped prosecution due to Bermuda's antiquated corruption laws."

Just think for example that your neighbor accused you of a scandalous crime, the police come to question you and the inner workings of that investigation are then handed over to the press for publication - even though you've done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law.

I expect you would be mortified.
The inner workings of the BHC scandal have not been exposed to the public. But "done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law".  was there no call for the pursuit of some associated through the civil Court?

the story appears to have incredible public interest angles.  what appears to be the problem is not that the papers were leaked but that the papers highlight the extent of the problems; the failuree of suspects to be asked questions.

Try this analogy Mr Perinchief: If someone stole $8,000,000 from you, how would you feel if, having made a complaint of crime, the case was closed, you had lost all your money.  Would you be mortified if you then learned that there were suspects in respect of whom there was evidence but who the police decided not to question? How please would you be when some courageous (misguided?) soul in the Bermuda police service came forward and tipped you off causing the matter to be resurrected and providing you to glimmer of hope justice would be done; the friends could be routed out and some of your money could be recovered.

The Bermuda people 'lost' $8,000,000 - who has the money and who knows who has the money?  The Bermuda people are the victims of the crime and now they are a little more aware just how the 'investigation' of their loss was undertaken, how they were failed.

Or even more pointedly, would the Leader of the Opposition be content to see the details of the Police raid at his business and the subsequent drug case conviction of his employee splattered on the front pages?

I expect he, too, would be mortified. And he should be.
The press often report on raids at premises, or police activity.  They are entitled to do and it is what makes the news.  It matters not that a prosecution follows, the pres report on the activity.

Drug case convictions regularly, daily, appear in the papers.  The Opposition Leader's association with a drugs investigation and the conviction of his employees was heavily reported in the press.

the difference is that the case was investigated and suspects were interviewed.

As your Minister of Justice I would fight to ensure your name, and his, was not soiled or sullied in the press and that the investigative documents are protected. That is the very battle being waged right now, except in this case the people who need protecting are members of Government.

I do not accept this is the case and refer you to 'documents'. It appears the people need protecting from the Government. It appears that Government ministers are abusing their positions and profiting from same.

where is the evidence to the contrary?  Why are the public figures shying away from addressing the real issue - who has the $8,000,000 originally in the BHC's bank account and is now .... where?  How did the Government lose $8,000,000 and do any of its members have some of it?

I suspect that this fight has been started because it involves the Minister's party. But if the Minister would care to take up the case of injustice he may wish to consider some of the complaints currently with the police in respect of which they are apparently dragging their feet or some of the appeals against convicts that have been raised.

I am hopeful our means to stop irresponsible reporting will be successful.

And I hope in the future that the office responsible for keeping such files confidential will do more to ensure the documents are better secured - not only in the case of public officials but in the cases of all innocent citizens of Bermuda.
One way to stop the reporting of such stories is if such scandals are prevented or thoroughly investigated.  It appears the fault lies other than with the press. 

Is it really any wonder that the press presented such information to the Bermuda people?  What journalist would refrain from printing such topical, newsworthy and public interest stories?  If they have erred, leave it to a commission to conclude this - in what way does criticising the press in such a speech differ from them criticising the investigation by printing the story.  Or is it acceptable for a Government Minister to cast aspersions in such speeches but unacceptable for the press to report on the alleged indiscretions of Ministers?

Bermuda police officers should retain copies of documents; keep them safe.  They go astray in offices and should be kept safe to protect themselves.  why else do you think I was able to walk away from the island with my liberty and not the subject of some trumped up charge? This site is evidence that the is no security of papers (thank you George Jackson, the current commissioner of police) for permitting me access to the files that appear on these pages.

It is apparent nothing has changed.




To e-mail click here:


to visit click here



IMPORTANT NOTICE: has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. is not an official or authorised Bermuda police web site.