Attorney General (AG), Dawn Smith, has been chided for a very belated return of transcripts that the Commission of Inquiry (COI) had given to her for redaction considerations.
During a recent directions hearing, Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom
, said the COI
had only gotten the response to the redactions request late in the evening on Tuesday, just before the hearing was held.
The transcripts, which were ultimately never redacted, were for the 50th and 52nd days of the hearings when Governor John Rankin
, former Governor Augustus Jaspert, and Premier Andrew Fahie
had appeared before the Commission.
“In terms of transcripts for days 50 and 52, it’s taken a month for the attorney to get back to us, only to say that in fact they can be made public and no reductions are being sought. That is something which I thought that could’ve been done in a matter of minutes if not hours when the transcripts came through a month ago,” Sir Gary said.
He continued: “But in any event, those transcripts can be now made available to the public in full and we will put them up on to the website.”
Sir Gary further stated that someone who can speak on the issue of any redactions on behalf of the Attorney General will need to be present at the hearing next Wednesday when Governor John Rankin
is expected to appear once again.
He said this in the event that any issues arise during the next hearing.
At the hearing, Governor Rankin will be cross-examined, likely by Sir Geoffrey Cox, who has represented the interests of the AG, and Ministers of Government by extension, during the course of the COI
is expected to wrap up proceedings early next year and issue a report on its findings shortly thereafter.