Former BVI premier sends notice of absence to legislature
TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (CMC):
The former premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Andrew Fahie, has officially sent word to the legislature of this British overseas territory informing them of his absence from the latest sitting.
Since his arrest at the Miami-Opa Locka Airport in late April, Fahie, who represents the First District, has missed one sitting of the House, and missing another two would have put him in danger of being removed as district representative.
Under the rules that govern the House of Assembly, Fahie stood in danger of having to vacate his seat if he is absent in any one session of the House for more than three consecutive sittings without the written leave of the Speaker.
However, House Speaker Corine George-Massicote announced that Fahie gave notice of his absence from the current sitting.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley had previously stated he did not feel the standing orders of the House were amended to allow a member to attend a virtual House of Assembly sitting if they were unable to be present in person.
The Premier has also consistently mentioned that the First District representative should focus on his upcoming trial and not on House matters.
Fahie, who is currently on house arrest in Miami, Florida, is facing life imprisonment if convicted on the drug trafficking and money laundering charges brought against him by the United States government. His trial is expected to commence on July 18.