Says attorney-client privilege is sacred
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Education Jefferey Lloyd on Thursday sought to shut down any concerns of the public regarding his decision to remain silent in the House of Assembly in regards to the Derek Rolle inheritance case.
“It is not my responsibility and I do not have the authority to divulge information that has been provided [to] me by a client. The attorney-client privilege is a sacred responsibility of all attorneys,” Lloyd explained.
Yesterday was the first time Lloyd spoke to the media about the issue since releasing a statement last week about his involvement in the Derek Rolle case.
Unsubstantiated reports suggest Rolle inherited as much as $79 billion from a deceased American couple.
The government, however, has labelled the matter a “fanciful tale”.
Before taking office, Lloyd represented Rolle’s sister in seeking information regarding the whereabouts of her brother’s inheritance. However, Lloyd said during that time he was advised that the money did not exist and he remained unaware of the existence or whereabouts of the money.
Last month when Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest addressed the Derek Rolle inheritance in the House of Assembly, Lloyd remained tight-lipped on the issue. Asked by the media yesterday why he did not offer a response at the time, Lloyd said, “I have nothing to say in the House of Assembly or otherwise about client’s who come to see me as an attorney for any advice in any way.
“Would you like for me to divulge to the public that you have come to speak to me on a confidential matter that’s between you and I?
“Now if you want to go out and broadcast it to the world that is your business, that is entirely up to you, but it is not my responsibility.
“In fact, I can be disbarred if I were to commit such an egregious and almost unforgivable mistake, so whomever postulates the thought that I should have made a comment in the House of Assembly is ignorant if not nearly…stupid,” the minister said.
The controversy regarding Rolle’s inheritance had died down over the years but recently re-emerged when Member of Parliament for Centreville, Reece Chipman called for a select committee of Parliament to probe all matters related to Rolle.
Allegations of a conspiracy involving government officials and the theft of Rolle’s multi-billion-dollar inheritance surfaced and Chipman said that it was in the national interest to investigate and determine all facts related to the matter.
Meanwhile, Lloyd maintained yesterday that he has no direct involvement in the case.