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Call For International Observers For Committee’S Probe

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

SAVE The Bays (STB) has appealed for international observers to oversee the House of Assembly’s Committee on Privilege’s probe into the landmark ruling by Supreme Court Justice Indra Charles over the leak of its private emails in Parliament.

STB Chairman Joseph Darville suggested that the probe could be seen as “politically motivated revenge” given that the matter under investigation stemmed from legal action the organisation filed against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, a self-declared major financial contributor to the governing party.

The parliamentary committee is tasked to determine whether Justice Charles, STB Director Fred Smith, QC, and lawyer Ferron Bethell should be held in contempt of the House of Assembly, and follows the injunction granted by Justice Charles to Save The Bays barring parliamentarians from accessing or making public the personal information of the non-profit organisation.

Mr Darville said the environmental group fears that the upcoming public hearings will be used to broadcast more of its private information.

“We can only imagine that they intend to use this venue to try and justify the further release of our private information in violation of the Constitution of The Bahamas and in the face of the House Speaker’s own admission that the disclosures should not happen again,” said Mr Darville.

“We are also gravely concerned about the nature

of these proceedings as a whole.

“Senior members of the government have openly expressed an interest in holding us in ‘contempt of parliament’ and imprisoning us.

“With a committee chaired and dominated by members of the very same government we are somehow supposedly trying to destabilise, our accusers are effectively also our judges, jury and executioners.

“This is a clear violation of our constitutional right to due process and flies in the face of every international norm when it comes to impartiality and the fair administration of justice.”

The parliamentary committee members are Mount Moriah MP Arnold Forbes, Sea Breeze MP Hope Strachan, North Abaco MP Renardo Curry - who are members of the governing party - and opposition MPs Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant and Long Island MP Loretta Butler ­Turner.

Yesterday, Mr Darville said the group was surprised that the probe will continue considering that an appeal has been filed.

“I am in no way questioning the integrity of any member of the committee,” he said. “But as we know, justice must not only be done, but also be seen to be done.

“This is a fundamental cornerstone of our democracy.”

The groups invited include the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR); the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch; the Centre for Justice and International Law (CEJIL); and the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights.

In a press statement yesterday, STB said: “It is a shame that the opinion of the Supreme Court is no longer good enough in the Bahamas, but if we have to appeal to the international community to protect ourselves from totally unfounded allegations and persistent attempts to paint us and our organisation in a false light, we will not hesitate to do so.”

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years ago

The Speaker of the House has been jammed by Christie who has made it clear to Major that he would be banished from active politics by the PLP if he doesn't "stick it" to the principals behind Save The Bays and their lawyers.

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The_Oracle 3 years ago

No different than Mr. Ingraham's vendettas. But, to point, Politicians the world over have crossed lines and broken rules in the name of "necessary action" or essential Government purpose/expediency, but most often it is done for their own reasons, concealing special interests/personal dealing or personal wrong doing, but the rule of law once breached is rarely if ever re-instated. History is replete with examples. History is also full of private citizens who do nothing but grumble. Naked abuse of power and personal enrichment, ours are no different.

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sheeprunner12 3 years ago

This is a landmark legal ruling that will affect our political culture going forward ........ an impartial observer to the parliamentary response would be very instructive and provide beneficial feedback for future court rulings vis-a-vis politicians' abuse of their citizens

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MonkeeDoo 3 years ago

We will look even more stupid than we appear already to the world, if it is exposed to the world, but I agree with the STB appeal. Who is going to invest anything here, when it is seen that the judiciary has been supplanted by the Government. Zimbabwe has finally had enough of Mugabe and are rioting. I wonder when Bahamians will have had enough of PGC.

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birdiestrachan 3 years ago

What is Mr: Darville afraid of. what do they have to hide?? . And where does Toggie, bo bo, Pintard and Bostwick fit into this matter.?? I forgot the man who was receiving the fish.

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Space 2 years, 12 months ago

That is some desperate grabbing at straws ma boi

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steplight 3 years ago

The Peripeteia in Bahamian Politics and Policing- On May 7th 2012 international observers saw the fall of a wife beater and gross domestic violent offender in the office of prime minister of a new Haiti and the son of the man who used the skull of Sir Harry Oakes as an inkwell,his blood as ink before his birth to pen the Declaration for a New Haiti in the high place of high COmmissioner to Great Britain mocking the Sovereignty of GOd over the Commonwealth Of the Bahamas awaiting their September 16th 2016 written judgment in accordance to the HOA and RBPF Mandate April 11th 1963.Both men disqualified in 1973 from public office misrepresented the Bahamas before the world aware that their arbitrary arrest,detention and exile of a 9 year old Bahamian crime presaging prodigy and her mother were necessary for them to flaunt the Haitian vodou aura of invincibility moral code vices of greed and dishonor as being the supreme selection only now to see the Indomitable Spirit some 73 years still holding a country together under Perry Gladstone Christie.The spellbound of the vodou embargo of Preliminary declaration Article 12 of 1805 into force with the January 4th 2010 announcement of zero tolerance to crime being double speaking the murders of foreign investors,prominent ctizens and crimes against parliamentarians unveil the sinister POlicide plot to use the police force and parliament trojan horse to discredit Bahamians in their own country,their friends,benefactors like Sir Harry Oakes with genuine interest in the Bahamas to the blatant disregard for human lives and properties that made Haiti 211 after the massacre of whites to be and remain the poorest country in the western hemisphere.Haitians must examine why they are in the Bahamas and understand crimes of hubris for the purpose of shaming,humiliating and degrading others just for the fund of it might work back in their culture where human sacrifice and gruesome crimes with police brutality is their delight.The scapegoating of Sir Lynden Pindling and 30 year life sentence for cocaine of a female detective forced to send a file with Rose Marie Darville a Haitian with a Bahamianvidentity never tried in court is top priority.Why would drug enforcement in Nassau and Freeport be cartel operations of Haitians like others in the force caring little about lives senselessly snuffed out and more about getting money to be seen.Priority number one is to examine all persons in positions of trustand hold all accountable now that the light is on.Who would trust Haitians when they see nothing wrong with Oakes murder,his eyelids,testicles burned his body charred with feathers,a gun aimed at the forehead of a Bahamian policewoman with laughter in late 2002 on the island of Grand Bahamas and no interest of COP #4 nor #6 to see this was the point of reference in the New Haiti no one can endorse.

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InvestorsAreWatching 3 years ago

Perry" Birdieshrachan" Christie has to be the anti-Christ, maybe that's why he dyes his hair, so no one can see the mark of the devil; six hundred and sixty six. No human can be this heartless and evil towards his own people if he wasn't the fallen angel casted out of heaven.

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InvestorsAreWatching 3 years ago

A country run by thieves and crooks, and Pindling was their teacher. Cuba's opening will be your jail time, because it's already dominating the travel industry in the Caribbean. Crime will get worse in the Bahamas until the good people of your nation rise up against their oppressors. JetBlue has a flight from Florida to Cuba for $99 dollars each way, the Bahamas has I flight from Atlanta, GA.to Abaco for $600 plus tax round trip. Does your government really think people are fools who can be conned everyday by them? People of the Bahamas wake up, your leaders are your worse enemies. Donald Trump, who I've done business with and can't stand the sight of was asked recently why he doesn't invest in the Bahamas, he said ," Are you crazy"; period.

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