After nearly 10 months of house arrest, former British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie wants to get out of his daughters’ apartment every now and then.
Fahie petitioned a Florida court Friday to allow him to visit his attorney’s Fort Lauderdale office three times a week as they prepare for trial. Fahie faces cocaine smuggling and money laundering charges that could put him in prison for life if convicted. The trial is scheduled for late June, a year after he made bail.
The former BVI leader’s alleged accomplices — former Port Authority Director Oleanvine Pickering Maynard and her son, Kadeem Maynard — have remained behind bars since the trio was arrested on April 28, 2022.
The attorney’s office is about 45 miles from Fahie’s daughters’ second-floor apartment where, according to court records, cramped conditions often don’t allow for confidential attorney-client conferences. Both daughters, Fahie’s attorney said, attend school online and have left the two-bedroom Miami apartment during brief meetings in the past. With the trial looming, the attorney said she and Fahie needed more time than the present accommodations could offer.
Fahie also needed a root canal. He’d been given permission for the procedure but asked Friday that he be allowed to notify his probation officer of the dental visits rather than wait for express permission.
Fahie’s attorney also said they needed an extensive conference at her office April 14 to discuss unspecified “time-sensitive matters.”
Fahie’s request to leave the apartment is the first publicly available document filed since late January. At least a dozen sealed documents have been filed in the case since then, the most recent on Tuesday. The docket entries are labeled as “restricted/sealed until further notice” with no general description listed.
Prosecutors have said Fahie was eager to work with drug cartels and terrorist organizations and had allegedly bragged on secretly-recorded audio tape about years of criminal activity, including partnerships with notorious smugglers. At one point, Fahie allegedly offered to help illegally import firearms through the British overseas territory.
Fahie has repeatedly asked the court to reveal the identity of the confidential informant who made the recordings.
Fahie’s arrest for allegedly offering to make Tortola a major through point for cocaine smuggling to the U.S. mainland came as he stepped off a private plane at a Miami-area airport after allegedly inspecting would-be drug money. He quickly claimed immunity from prosecution as the BVI’s head of state, but received none.
A long-serving employee in the premier’s office was arrested in October and charged with illegally sending a letter to U.S. officials seeking Fahie’s release.
A day after the arrest, the United Kingdom government released a report recommending direct control of the BVI by London, dissolving local government, and launching a full investigation of probable corruption. Local protests broke out and the House of Assembly speaker, Julian Willock, resigned. Willock was later questioned on possible human trafficking charges.