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Jan 17, 2022

PM Says Public Officers Must Be Held Accountable

Last week, we reported that the Commission of Inquiry conducted an investigation into the sale of government assets between October 2019 and November 2020, under the last administration. The Commission found that all the transactions were in violation of the law. One case in particular seems to merit further investigation, at least according to Commission Chair, Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck. He told News Five, “The only aspect of what came out of the Commission’s inquiries that we’ve recommended be further investigated with a view to possible criminal prosecution would arise out of sale of the Tacoma to Honorable Hugo Patt, and the relationship with Kelvin Li and the relationship, if any, that those had to the sale of Government lands to Kelvin Li. That would have been the most significant possibility where criminal behaviour could have taken place, and it certainly needs to be looked into further”. Following the opening of the George Price exhibition on Saturday, News Five asked Prime Minister Briceño what his Government will do to address the matter.


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“It is important that we ensure that we follow the process. The process is you pass it on to the Attorney General’s office and to the DPP and they are going to decide whether there is enough evidence to be able to prosecute anybody.  I know one of the recommendations is about tightening up the law. In many instances, the law is there and it is not adhered to because the sanctions are limited as to what they can do. I believe it is important now to be able to hold not only the Ministers or politicians but also, we have to hold the public officers accountable that allow this to happen because I’m convinced that once a public officer knows that he or she is participating in something that is illegal and know that they can be held accountable, I can guarantee you that they would not do that because they know that they can be held accountable. So, we need to look at the law. We need to find how we can strengthen the law to ensure that these abuses do not happen again.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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