Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said yesterday that the probe into an alleged Bahamas Electricity Corporation bribery incident that took place over a decade ago is “nearly complete”.
“As I indicated previously, (there are) two important things to know about this,” she told The Tribune yesterday. “One, it’s important for the integrity of the system that it is seen that the process of justice works. Secondly, police have sent the file from their investigation over to my office. My advisors are in the process of reviewing it.”
“It’s very important for Bahamians and those who visit and do business in our country to understand that our justice system works. Bahamians would’ve seen most recently in the Baha Mar case the Delaware Court’s extensive citation of one of our Supreme Court justices, which indicates that our policy is no way in contravention of the public policy in the US. Likewise, with this matter, it is important for people, Bahamian and non-Bahamian people, to see that the system works in a fair and trustworthy manner.”
Mrs Maynard-Gibson said last week that Bahamians will “absolutely” learn the identity of the person accused of accepting a $325,000 bribe from the French power company Alstom SA more than a decade ago.
The news that she may soon go public on the matter comes nearly a year after the US Department of Justice reported that Alstom SA agreed to pay $772 million following allegations that it bribed foreign government officials.
This is related to a widespread scheme involving tens of millions of dollars in bribes to countries around the world, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The Bahamian suspect in the case allegedly accepted $325,000 in bribes to influence BEC contracts to a French company between 1999 and 2003.
The French company allegedly hid payments to the Bahamian official, routing them through an American consultant who was a “close personal friend” of one person able to influence the awarding of BEC contracts.
Following the revelation last year – which was reported exclusively in Tribune Business - former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson, who at the time had the electricity corporation in his portfolio, expressed “difficulty” with the situation.
Mr Watson has maintained that he was unaware of any controversy surrounding generator purchase contracts, or the events that allegedly took place between 1999 and 2001 when the Free National Movement was in office.