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Mps Ordered Not To Disclose More Confidential Information

Jerome Fitzgerald

Jerome Fitzgerald

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Minister of Immigration Fred Mitchell.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

SAVE THE Bays has been granted an interlocutory injunction against Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell, Education Minister Jerome 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 yesterday and lasts until May 12.

The judge’s order says 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.

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Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.

In a writ filed in the Supreme Court yesterday, the applicants, 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.

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

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

The writ is requesting 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 the applicants’ correspondence in whatever form they are held in. STB has also requested the respondents to permanently destroy or delete all electronic records and testify under oath who the information was shared with 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 Save The Bays 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 Save the Bays members and others, which he said bolstered his claims.

Speaking to reporters 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

realfreethinker 2 years, 9 months ago

Send they stink ass to prison. This gov is so f..king corrupt.

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 9 months ago

Ok good. It never made sense to me that they could telegraph that they were going to commit an illegal act but they do it inside parliament to avoid prosecution.

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrades since from under what British King or Queen does the courts have the authority to tell members of Parliament what they can say and not say, whilst standing up on floor under protection Parliament?
I guess person(s) can opt to tell Parliamentarians how to conduct the Queen's business but it still doesn't mean they are obligated to listen?
I think the named Honourable Comrade Parliamentarians, knows exactly how thanks courts for volunteering their unsolicited advice?

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realfreethinker 2 years, 9 months ago

No one is above the law They do not immunity when breaking the law. Those documents were not gotten in parliament. Once they had them outside of parliament the court does have jurisdiction.

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrade Realfreethinker are you to suggest that it is not left to the Speaker House of Assembly to determine what is a category of privilege? That if so determined by the Speaker to exist and its scope is ascertained, the exercise of parliamentary privilege, can then be challenged by the courts?

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Voltaire 2 years, 9 months ago

Tal - you know full well that everything that happens outside parliamentary proceedings does not attract privilege. The speaker has no say in the matter. The action of receiving this unauthorized personal information, the act of going in the press to threaten the rightful owners with exposure, etc, etc – none of that is covered by parliamentary privilege.

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrade Voltaire wouldn't this be the equivalent to a Judge rising from behind da courts bench to walk over to the peoples Honourable House of Assembly to grab da Mace, then opening a window to toss the Speaker's symbol of authority out the dam window?
Only thing different on this day, there will be no crowd down below in the public square to cheer a "Learned One" on.

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Voltaire 2 years, 9 months ago

No Tal, it would not. Being a member of Parliament does not give you parliamentary privilege 24 hours a day, only when you are physically in Parliament. Therefore, everything these MPs have done outside the House or Senate is fair game for the courts. According to STB, they received stolen information, and then issued threats to intimidate the group into silence. Out on the street, an MP is just like everyone else, and just as subject to the dictates of the court as you or I.

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Observer 2 years, 9 months ago

This medium has been hijacked by bottom feeders.

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Voltaire 2 years, 9 months ago

No Tal, it would not. Being a member of Parliament does not give you parliamentary privilege 24 hours a day, only when you are physically in Parliament. Therefore, everything these MPs have done outside the House or Senate is fair game for the courts. According to STB, they received stolen information, and then issued threats to intimidate the group into silence. Out on the street, an MP is just like everyone else, and just as subject to the dictates of the court as you or I.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 9 months ago

What does STB have to hide? It is known that they paid Bullard and the other man to lie. I am wondering what else have they done. Now the out spoken QC is putting his disciple out there to do his dirty work. What a shame full bunch. Fried Bacon have them for his lackeys what a few dollars can do. It seems some have sold their souls for a bowl of porridge.

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realfreethinker 2 years, 9 months ago

birdiestrachan,you just don't be able to grasp it. What they did is illegal. the data protection law that these same two idiots passed is the same law they are now breaking. For once just peep your little head out of the plp ass and get a whiff of fresh air

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 9 months ago

The question is why was STB Paying persons to tell lies? News papers are always saying information received. they knew what Lady Pindling owed, They knew what Mr. Lightbourne owed the Bank, and no one was jumping up a down. Again what does save the Bays have to hide and how much did they pay Pintard and Bostwick for the part they played? Not to mention the man who was receiving Fish How much does he know? The plot thickens. No matter what the dirty mouth Kalik says on this site.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 9 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. Miller of course is just an idiot of irrelevant consequence to any and everything - he has been relegated to being Vomit's very own personal court jester.

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TALKDAT 2 years, 9 months ago

Is this the same 'STB Group' that's fighting for the 'Freedom Of Information Act', asking the Courts to stop the Public from being provided 'Information' on how STB is doing such a magnificent in holding Government's 'feet to the fire' on national environmental issues and concerns? Very ironic ... must have something to hide from the Bahamian People!

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