Holness’ house under microscope again

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The still-under-construction Beverly Hills mansion of sitting Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be the focus of the season three première of investigative news and current affairs programme 18° North tonight at 9:00. That, plus a string of other properties the PM reportedly acquired without a mortgage, and questions about taxes on some of those properties.
“It’s going to ruffle a few feathers,” a producer of the show said of the episode, which airs on TVJ.

The Beverly Hills house was a hot topic leading up to the February 25 general election, with questions being raised about its source of funding, and a St Lucian company named for his sons being debating in the public arena. In response to critics, Holness said in June 2015 that he had bought the land seven years ago and started building three years ago, with he and his wife Juliet themselves serving as project managers.
“That’s where this investigation started; with this whole issue about the house,” executive producer and host of the show Zahra Burton told the OBSERVER ONLINE. “Everybody else had put the issue to bed, in terms of the media, but I still think that people like myself, like the average citizen, still have some questions about where he got the money.
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“Going down the road led us to different paths which we never expected. One road led to other properties owned by him and for which he didn’t have a mortgage; it wasn’t necessarily owned by him, but by his entity, Admat. The other path it took us down was property taxes and we found some very interesting things,” said Burton.
The project began late last year and took several months to complete. In addition to the properties and taxes, the 30-minute episode also probes possible influence peddling.
“The road also took us down a path looking at some of (Holness’) associates, one business partner in particular, and how this associate got some government contracts in entities where Holness was either head or had some influence over that element of government, and so we started to ask questions about how much influence Holness really had, if any at all,” Burton told the OBSERVER ONLINE.
“It should be a very compelling piece to watch,” she said.
Burton added that the investigations into Holness’ property tax status prompted probes into other parliamentarians and their statuses. The results, based on information on Tax Administration Jamaica’s website, will be featured in another episode this season.
Asked what reactions she expects from the premiere, Burton, who said her father is a strong supporter of the Jamaica Labour Party which Holness heads, explained that while she concedes that political emotions run deep in Jamaica, she hopes the society is mature enough to accept the piece for what it is — quality journalistic work.
“I’m a journalist first and if I see something, I’m going to probe it and if it leads to something, I’m going to report it as long it’s factually correct and as long as it’s thoroughly checked out,” she said.
Tonight’s première will be preceded by a round-table discussion structured to encourage more journalists to successfully use the Access to Information Act and other tools to produce more investigative stories. The panel will include Trevor Munroe of the National Integrity Action and attorney-at-law Danielle Andrade. The live airing of the show will be hosted at J Wray & Nephew’s @twentythree location on Dominica Drive in New Kingston and will be followed by a press conference.
18° North is a production of Global Reporters for the Caribbean, for which Burton is founder and principal.


  1. Who him ago sue? Him big mouth, Attorney or JAJ? kmt try frighten wid law suit.. The f**a fi spent time. Sorry me vote fi the liad rass

  2. He can very much open a lawsuit against the producers of 18 degrees and whomever else making false/defamatory claims against him and his family. The question at hand is whether or not there is truth in the matter or is it all slander.

  3. I watched it,it seems the lawsuit is more in line to do with the implication of what was being revealed.The info was provided by HIS ATTORNEY as well as Public Records.

    You cannot sue someone for stating facts.I look forward to seeing what the PM takes exception to in particular cuz that is yet to be said.I agree it sound a way for the PM of a country to say he doesn’t like to pay taxes!

  4. Me did say it already, dem vote out one thief, fe vote in 2 thief. Mr prime minister Facebook the world is watching u thieving clath. Off shore account a go get dig up.

  5. @yardielovethug Thank you very much. Commence the adjudication process; the Prime Minister does not have a valid argument. The threat of the veto is more powerful than the veto itself… The Prime Minister would have us think that we blindly followed investment advice, when his offshore ‘trust’ was established; however, I am here to tell him that by doing so, he was able to skirt certain local taxes. Hence, his libel notions are futile…

  6. Blessings Lalibela,My job take me into dealings with n knowledge of these taxes.Stamp duty and Transfer taxes rake in $billions for Jamaica.Why would the PM defend albiet legal the crafty practice of “evading” these taxes??

    Would he promote that all the Citizens set up these methods to avoid paying these taxes?How would the country function and run without said taxes?

    I say it is a critical step to investigate that the Leader of the country must pay taxes.This must extend to all Politicians even the councilors to ensure transparency.Open all their damn books n mek we see who n who a cook the books!

    1. Trust me, the Prime Minister a try tek people fi fool… I have been saying things and individuals on here and elsewhere a try cow mi down like a madness man a talk.

  7. Jamaica need fi start arrest some a di so called Bigman dem and put back some faith inna di justice system.

  8. A dat everybody did want. Fresh minds, and a young ppl time now was the shout, now it end up as …give thief a me a go see heff De ppl dem a go just lock dem mouth and siddung Wid the shame.uncle Sam did run in pon fifa bout the corruption and dat a football so let’s see how dem a go deal Wid “the right honorable priminister facebook”

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