HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Bermuda charged former Premier Ewart Brown with participating in a wide-ranging corruption scheme on Wednesday, accusing the ex-leader of pocketing millions of dollars and unlawfully helping his center-left Progressive Labor Party.
The charges follow a decade-long investigation and mark the first time in the island's modern history that a former leader has been charged with graft.
Brown, who served as premier of the British territory from 2006 to 2010, faces 13 counts of corruption stemming from a scandal involving a U.S. hospital that provides care for many island residents.
Brown is alleged to have received more than $4 million in bribes personally or that were funneled to his own local clinic in exchange for government contracts.
Prosecutors also accuse him of benefiting the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) though unlawful donations covering some $350,000 from 2007 to 2010, with part of the funds allegedly reaching a foundation he controls.
The PLP is currently the ruling party in Bermuda, under a different premier.
Brown appeared in court via Zoom. He did not enter a plea but is expected to do so later when the case is heard by the island's Supreme Court.
He has previously denied the charges and accused prosecutors of pursuing lies.
The magistrates court judge allowed Brown to remain free after he paid a $250,000 bail bond, and the case is expected to resume at the Supreme Court in April.
(This story refiles to fix typo in 8th paragraph)
(Reporting by Don Burgess; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Lincoln Feast.)