FNM leader Hubert Minnis (right) with party chairman Darron Cash at Thursday night's press conference.
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION leader Dr Hubert Minnis last night questioned who will be next in the government’s “political witch-hunt” following a police raid on FNM party chairman Darron Cash’s home, the result of an ongoing investigation into operations at the Bank of the Bahamas (BOB).
Mr Cash’s two small children were reportedly whisked away by the family’s housekeeper in an attempt to shield them from the dramatic ordeal when a police inspector and two sergeants from the Central Detective Unit (CDU) entered the home in the West Bay Street area yesterday morning.
The three officers, according to a statement from Mr Cash’s attorney, FNM senator Carl Bethel, seized two laptop computers and a cellular smart phone belonging to Mr Cash. The items were grabbed from his hands and taken by the CDU, who refused to deliver or to leave a copy of the search warrant, the statement said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said he would not comment on the events at Mr Cash’s house, but added that the police continue to actively investigate claims of possible policy breaches stemming from the BOB.
At a press conference at the FNM’s headquarters last night, Dr Minnis said his party will not be silenced but will instead take a stand for the apparent “political assault” on its chairman.
“The Free National Movement is greatly concerned that the full force of the State has apparently been brought to bear against the national chairman of the FNM, who has apparently been subjected to a ‘fishing expedition’.
“The evolving scandals surrounding the BOB, a wholly Bahamian-owned institution, have been publicised and revealed by many sources, including the print newspapers having nothing to do with our national chairman.
“The lapses and failures of the present government to investigate and correct the
apparent abuses and negligence of the BOB is shameful and has been properly criticised and highlighted by our national chairman, but also by others who made disclosures to newspapers.
“Is our chairman being targeted because he has been a passionate critic of the government’s inept handling of the BOB? And because his wife happens to work at the institution? It is the view of the FNM that the PLP government has abused its power to cause the police to launch a political witch-hunt upon one of our lead spokespersons. The FNM asks: who is next?”
Dr Minnis spoke following a two-hour meeting with FNM executives.
According to Mr Bethel a constitutional motion has already been filed in the Supreme Court to seek redress for the violation of Mr Cash’s constitutional right to privacy. He expects that the case will see an initial hearing in court today.
The actions by the police, the statement said, was an unreasonable, unconstitutional and unlawful seizure and search of his personal property.
They seized items containing personal, business and general political information, e-mails, and communications, which relate to his profession as an accountant and generally to his political activities and responsibilities as the national chairman of the official Opposition; as well as containing personal family communications and information.
Over the last few months, Mr Cash and other FNMs have been critical of the government and its handling of the various concerns which have come to light over the management and lending practices of the BOB.
As a result bank executives, along with the government, have released several statements in an attempt to allay fears over reports that BOB was on the brink of collapse.