The first live-stream display of the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) is scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday June 2, on social media platform YouTube.
This is according to the Secretary to the Commission Steven Chandler, who made the disclosure during a media release on Monday May 31.
Chandler stated that while the previous sittings of the COI were held in private, the intention of the Commission going forward is to hold as many public hearings as possible.
“The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday 2 June 2021 at 10am, when the Commissioner will hear legal submissions on behalf of the Attorney General on the extent to which Cabinet documents should be disclosed to the COI and thereafter to the public,” he stated.
“The Commissioner has not received any application that this hearing be in private. It will therefore be live streamed. Further, the transcript of proceedings will be made available on the COI’s website as soon as possible after the hearing,” Chandler added.
3-minute delay on live stream
The COI Secretary also revealed that the live stream will be subject to a three-minute time delay to protect confidential information from spilling in the public domain.
“In the event that a witness gives an answer which contains information that may not be made public, then the time delay will allow either Counsel to the Commission, the legal representative of a participant or a witness to raise the matter. The Commissioner will then direct that the live stream be paused and the hearing will go into private session. Once the Commissioner has determined the matter and any confidential evidence heard in private, the live stream will be resumed,” he explained.
Public not allowed in person due to COVID–19 Pandemic
Secretary Chandler further said that while the sitting will be live, the public will not be allowed to physically attend the sessions due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the public are not able to attend the hearings in person; but the hearings will be live streamed via the COI’s dedicated YouTube channel. The channel can be accessed via this link: BVI COI YouTube channel. The link will also be available on the COI’s website.”
The COI is presently conducting investigations into whether acts of corruption or abuse of office took place in the British Virgin Islands among public, elected and statutory officials in recent years.