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Government Ministers Warn Save The Bays 'Nothing' Will Stop Them

Fred Mitchell and Jerome Fitzgerald.

Fred Mitchell and Jerome Fitzgerald.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE being served with an injunction restraining them from releasing any information contained in Save The Bays' (STB) private emails, government ministers Jerome Fitzgerald and Fred Mitchell said on Friday “nothing” will stop them.

In a joint statement, the Education and Foreign Affairs ministers warned the environmental organisation to “stand by" for more to come.

 “We have read in the press a report about an injunction to restrain the freedom of speech of Parliamentarians. We want to assure our constituents that we will not be deterred. We will continue to speak freely on their behalf. Nothing Fred Smith QC can do will stop us,” the ministers' statement said.

“This is a breach of our privileges as Parliamentarians. The matter calls for Parliament to resist any encroachment on its rights. Save The Bays should stand by for more to come.”

On Thursday, STB was granted an injunction against Mr Mitchell, Mr Fitzgerald and Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson, restraining them from further disclosing the group’s confidential information in Parliament.

The injunction was granted by Justice Indra Charles on Thursday and lasts until May 12.

The judge’s order says the three government ministers are “prohibited” from any further appropriation, perusal, use, publication or disclosure in Parliament or elsewhere of any correspondence, including emails, belonging to the applicants.

Mr Mitchell, Mr Fitzgerald and Mrs Maynard-Gibson are named as respondents in the case.

In a writ filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday, the applicants (STB), Coalition to Save Clifton and Zachary Hampton Bacon, claim that the government, acting through Mr Mitchell, Mr Fitzgerald and Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller, obtained private and confidential emails and attachments belonging to the applicants and disclosed confidential information contained in this correspondence during the course of parliamentary proceedings on March 15 and 17.

Save The Bays is relying on an affidavit filed by director Joseph Darville to support its motion.

The writ requests Mr Mitchell and Mr Fitzgerald within seven days, or such other time as the court may fix, to deliver to the applicants the originals and copies of their correspondence in whatever form they are held. STB has also requested the respondents to permanently destroy or delete all electronic records and testify under oath with whom the information was shared and in what matter.

The writ also states that the respondents have “made it clear” that the documents referred to were just some examples drawn from a larger cache of private correspondence belonging to the applicants and have indicated by way of explicit threats their intention to make further disclosure from this cache.

According to the writ, “parliamentary privilege cannot in any way affect the court’s ability to take into account, when considering the grant of interlocutory relief sought, the threats by government through a senior Cabinet minister to access and reveal even more confidential information since this constitutes statements made outside Parliament.”

Last month, Mr Fitzgerald accused STB of being a political organisation seeking to “overthrow” the Progressive Liberal Party government under the guise of an environmental group. During his contribution in the House of Assembly, Mr Fitzgerald read private emails from STB members and others, which he said bolstered his claims.

Speaking outside Cabinet, Mr Fitzgerald recently warned members of the environmental group to “batten down” because a “category five” hurricane was on its way, as he threatened to table “every single” email and bank statement in his possession if needed to protect his integrity and parliamentary privilege.

Last month in Parliament, Mr Mitchell claimed that some $8.25m has been filtered through various organisations connected with STB - locally and internationally - from 2013 to 2015.

Mr Miller has alleged he saw a document that showed that five members of STB take home a combined salary of $740,000.

The disclosures came as part of a fierce political debate over claims included in an alleged murder-for-hire plot outlined in court documents filed against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard by billionaire Louis Bacon and several other STB directors.

The House of Assembly meets on Monday.

Comments

Economist 2 years, 12 months ago

In other words they are saying to the people of The Bahamas that they encourage the criminal activity in the country as they, by example, will also break the law.

So this is what MP Bell meant that the Crime plan was working.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 12 months ago

These two (Mitchell & Fitzgerald) are nothing but dufus (doofus) quacks of the same feather who foolishly believe they are above the law by virtue of simply being parliamentarians. They both lack the character and intellectual ability to perceive right from wrong, but sadly were capable of pulling the wool over the eyes of their respective constituents in the last general election. The next general election will be an entirely different story for both of these unworthy imbeciles! As for the evil embodied in the Wicked Witch of the West (Maynard-Gibson), her day of reckoning (like that of bagman Baltron) can't be too far off now.

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Publius 2 years, 12 months ago

Hare Krishna! Somebody make it stop!

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BMW 2 years, 12 months ago

What a couple of idiots, they really believe they are above the law! No wonder the country is at its lowest.

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OMG 2 years, 12 months ago

What a great example our Minister of Education is to young people who I am sure preaches at numerous schools on how young Bahamians should conduct their life ,yet he basically says I can do what I like. How ignorant. As for Mitchell maybe he would like to disclose exactly how much he has spent on his foreign trips and did he travel and reside first class on these trips.

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realfreethinker 2 years, 12 months ago

These assholes just don't get it. They are treading on really dangerous grounds. This has nothing to do with parliamentary privilege, but everything to do with breaking the law. Our weak PM had better reign these two before they do anymore damage to our judicial system,and by extension our country.

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awgo 2 years, 12 months ago

Wow, ever hear of contempt of court?

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awgo 2 years, 12 months ago

Wow, ever hear of contempt of court?

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awgo 2 years, 12 months ago

Wow, ever hear of contempt of court? Curious to see how the judge will handle this.

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sealice 2 years, 12 months ago

if these two fools actually have these documents can't the police just go and arrest them for possession of stolen goods? and try to get to an end of this constant monotonous PLP bullshit???

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sea_sprite 2 years, 12 months ago

As a second home owner, this type of criminal behavior, coming from those in power, makes me really rethink my investment in the Bahamas. We like to think that the Bahamas is a law abiding country, but this shows it is run by a bunch of thugs who either don't know the law, or believe they are above it. What will they do next?

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awgo 2 years, 12 months ago

Wow, ever hear of contempt of court? The issuing judge should throw these two in jail.

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrades after reading the glued together theme of the posts, isn't it most obvious why the red party, couldn't have scripted it any better - that is for it all to backfire on what's remaining of their once powerful political party.
Could Ministers Freddy & Jerome have handled this better, absolutely. But it's not too late for them, or members of the red party opposite, to use the full privilege of the House, if they truly believe the public can best be served via the protected floor of the Honurabe House of Assembly?
Just maybe, if the red party members opposite started talking, what they really know, there would be no need for government ministers to be talking at all?
If there is nothing in the documents to cause concerns, or raise eyebrows, why not encourage the Honurable Ministers, and Red MP's, to table all they know before the peoples Honourable House of Assembly?
We do know that when the leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition first stood on the floor of the Honyorable House in his capacity as Official Opposition Leader, to address this matter, he never deemed it necessary that he also inform the Honourable House that one of the individuals deeply involved is this most serious matter, had in fact been a visitor to his home on more than one occasion? Why not?
Now, we have the red party's former Chairman, conflicting what the party's leader claims to have "warned" him not to attend a meeting with these same individuals? Which story is correct? Don't you want to know?
Don't you think the public has yet to learn the whole truthful story? Not to keep frozen the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Keep the fishes frozen but not the truth?
Shouldn't releasing all known remove the need to be pointing tarnishing fingers incorrectly in the wrong direction and at innocent individuals?
It is unfair on all sides of this disturbing mess to continue to drag parties into this mess that had absolutely nothing to do with anything questionable.
But can we so easily dismiss those who were involved?

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EasternGate 2 years, 12 months ago

I said that Fred Mitchel is a cold calculating B.....ard! He really believes that he is God among stupid Bahamians.

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Godson 2 years, 12 months ago

No... not really but, in the 'Land of the Blind', the one eyed man is King.

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 12 months ago

The scary part is the PLP is about to get a second term....

Imagine how much freedom we're going to lose over the next term!?

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Wideawake 2 years, 12 months ago

They have too much to lose, to lose!

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 12 months ago

Do these two morons actually believe they've exposed anything remotely close to a plot to destabilize government????

Are all PLPs this dumb?

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrade ProudLoudAndFNM, if i too am willing buy into your morons theory, would you not agree that we really needs to expand the number beyond just the two named, when it comes to the greater number of the supposedly highly intelligent individuals involving themselves in and around this disturbing mess, all worthy of earning the classification as "morons?
That "morons' does comes in all colours them T-shirts. Right?
Comrade I am in process of designing a Three Fishes T-shirt. You want wear one? I picked your most favourite colour. Red?

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themessenger 2 years, 12 months ago

Perhaps we do Tal, however the two in question at the moment are the ones to focus on with regards to the misappropriation and release of personal information issue and whether or not they are above the law and should not be prosecuted.

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrades how do you know it's 'personal" information? Obviously, since we have to assume the Judge was NOT presented with actual copies of documents to be blocked from release to the public - wouldn't this be no more than a fishing trip as to what is in fact contained in those documents, if anything?
Who knows if just maybe the ministers threats to reveal all, amounts to no more than a game of Playing Politics Smoke and Mirrors?

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themessenger 2 years, 12 months ago

Its not about the "amounts" Tal, even if its ten cents they don't have the right to publicly disclose private individuals financial information, especially hiding behind parliamentary privilege and in breach of the Data Protection Act.

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrade Messenger you is almost 100% right. The issue that makes this different is, did certain individuals turn all political - meaning they decided to leave the protection of ordinary citizens?
If so, don't go running some Judge to cry wolf, when the dirty game of politics heat are being turned against your backsides? i think recent political aspiration statements published in the media, does attest to this is looking to look more likes it has become a personal, political grudge match?

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themessenger 2 years, 12 months ago

Tal, you've obviously bought into the fantasy that STB's have a political agenda and are out to destabilize the government rather than grine Nygaard. I wonder if that illegal disclosure wolf was at your door if you would be singing a different tune?

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrade Messenger, when did i claim anything about destabilizing a government by an organization?
Are you asking me, is there dirty politics rooted deep within this disturbing mess. One Hundred Thousand Percent, YES!
You don't thinks so?

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 12 months ago

Can we get some emoticons please? I need an "unbelievable unthinkable" and a "seriously?" ASAP.

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viewersmatters 2 years, 12 months ago

wow and they're supposed to be leaders but yet displaying that law and rules shouldnt be followed. I wish they do try what they said they would do and am hoping that Justice Indera acts accordingly to the lae and have these two lawless leaders imprison.

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrade VuewersMatters I am going to presume that you were among the many thousands who viewed a video that was featured in the media, pertaining be that to contain images and disturbing audio of individuals?
Do you not have the slightest curiosity as to whose moneys were used in the planning and staging of this disturbing SUV backseat conversation?
If not, why the hell not?
Or, maybe you think this was all financed as some kinds grand conspiracy, all staged by Ministers Freddy and Jerome to bring down their governing colleagues?
But lots people deny Jesus, so what's new?
Maybe you and others have good reason to be afraid of the truth?
I say release the truth from its caged captivity.

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EasternGate 2 years, 12 months ago

This should illustrate to dumb ass Bahamians, that the PLP is actively spying on them. I'll bet these bastards know every one of our identities through NIA

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 12 months ago

So what if they pull names of account holders from ISPs without court approval supported by reasonable cause.....doesn't tell them who in fact is using the account holder's unsecured PC and unsecured wireless access point. Besides, Nottage and his side kick Bell have little intelligence....if you know what I mean.

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrades the FBI recently sought if NASA's International Space Station's live cameras may have been aimed at a particular US location on earth that may have captured what vehicles were in the area of a potential crime under investigation, which I believe involved criminality in the disappearance of a person. NASA said yes, their cameras were aimed at the crime area during the requested date and time frame. But due to weather conditions at the time, diminished visibly had prevented their cameras from capturing for identification any vehicles makes, models or colours.
Comrades the USA fly constant surveillance and intelligence gathering drones over your Bahamaland.
“Every telephone call” originating from, or coming into Bahamaland. IS record by US intelligence and can later be listen to, if deemed necessary.
The above are factual, but something tells me that the Chinese, Russians and British are also gathering intelligence?

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MonkeeDoo 2 years, 12 months ago

I think that Tal is Big Bad Bradley Roberts. Stupid is as Stupid Writes !!!

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

King's Counsel Freddy's constant crowing at Ministers Freddy & Jerome, does reminds me of old Chester the rooster my uncle had on the island.
Old Chester either couldn't tell time, or just couldn't give a damn if he woke the neighbors up as early 3:30 am.
The local constable had even gone as far as to threatened to have old Chester arrested and charged with constantly disrupting peoples sleep.

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by TalRussell

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Economist 2 years, 12 months ago

Let us stick to the law of the land. 1. There is a Court Order; it should be followed. 2. To announce that one is not going to comply with a Court Order is wrong. 3. For any politician to say that they are not going to comply with the law is to act like a pirate. 4. Tal raises the point as to where the money came to do the video. By all means follow that up. But ask yourself Tal, if someone threatened your family, you reported it repeatedly, wrote letters and had meeting with the police and still they did nothing, would you object to the truth being exposed?

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrade Economists I am not in a position to disagree, nor agree with your position.
Have we not been presented with a glass of here-says - asking if the glass is half empty, or half full of what really went down, and by who's moneys, planning and execution? I suspect the glass is but half full of what the truth really is?
I think we can all agree that something so ugly, disturbing did in fact go down.
Comrade Economist, if and when we the public are given the opportunity to judge what is the truth, just maybe the glass will reflect who was full of truth -all along, and who was full of crap?
The public have been presented with a number of versions of what went down and by whom?
What we shouldn't be doing is to pick the version that best suits our politics and tell the nation to go screw itself.
Comrade Economists, don't you think there is more truth out there. That we just need dig deeper and wider to find it?

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John 2 years, 12 months ago

Meanwhile in the US the presidential debate gone from talking bad about people's wives and Bill Clinton to arguing over which bathroom grown adults should use. This the set who ma ain't potty train them right. Grown men who want sit down to pee!

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 11 months ago

How does exposing STBs' payroll in anyway indicate a plot to destabilize the government?

Can anyone answer that?

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John 2 years, 11 months ago

Because it would identify those who are involved in the plot and how much they getting pay? If you see someone making $100,000 a year or more you should know he aint doing conservation work and on a volunteer bassis..

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licks2 2 years, 11 months ago

The real matter here is how can our PM just sit there and don't whip them two back in shape?

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bluesky 2 years, 11 months ago

Can't touch the Bad Boys of Parliament.

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