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Judge May Be Held To Account By Committee

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

SUPREME Court Justice Indra Charles along with Save The Bays Director Fred Smith, QC, and lawyer Ferron Bethel were named in a resolution yesterday in Parliament for the Committee on Privilege to determine whether they should be held in contempt of the House of Assembly.

The resolution, which was moved by Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald, also ensures that the committee is provided with funding to obtain independent legal advice if needed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, who seconded the resolution, further called on the Bahamas Bar Association to examine the conduct of officers of the court who are involved in this matter as the courts had been dragged into a “mire”.

Mr Fitzgerald said he was seeking this resolution as a recent injunction granted by Justice Charles to Save The Bays barring parliamentarians from accessing or making public the personal information of the non-profit organisation was an “attack on democracy.” The injunction was granted on April 21 and expires May 12.

“Mr Speaker, so as not to exacerbate the conflict between the judiciary and the legislative body which is allegedly created by the applicant (Save The Bays), I wish now to move the following resolution for this House’s consideration,” the education minister said while standing on a point of privilege yesterday.

He said the resolution should refer the matter to the Committee on Privilege “for the examination and determination of whether the judge, attorney Fred Smith, QC, and Ferron Bethel should be held in contempt of this honourable House and that the Committee on Privilege be properly funded to obtain independent legal advice if necessary concerning this attack on our democracy and report back to the House at the earliest opportunity.”

The resolution was later amended to include “and others” following the name of Mr Bethel and agreed upon before the House suspended for its mid-day break.

Before the resolution was moved, Mr Fitzgerald was adamant that he had no part in any “corruption” as was repeatedly suggested by the Official Opposition. He also maintained that Mr Bethel, who has acted as a lawyer for Mr Smith and others connected to STB, had sent him and other MPs threatening emails.

He said: “I have had enough. I am sick and tired of baseless unsubstantiated accusations of corruption being levied against this side and myself, which are unsubstantiated. Enough is enough Mr Speaker. These claims are ridiculous, silly and unsubstantiated, I will do whatever is necessary to defend my name. The member for Killarney said the country would thank him for what he was revealing that day and I’m not sure who is thanking him, but I can say from this side our eyes have been opened to what is going on to undermine the government.”

He continued: “Much has been said that I have read the emails of a supposed non-profit environmental organisation Save The Bays. It appears that few are concerned that myself and my colleagues were called corrupt and when we exposed the whole diabolical scheme and, yes, including reading emails of those involved in the scheme, they started running to the hills and running to the court and even running to resign.

“So it’s all right to use a broad brush to paint the government with corruption, but when the facts start coming out all of a sudden you don’t want freedom of information. The irony of this is, as a non-profit Save The Bays falls under the Non-Profit Organisation Regulations 2014 and they are required by law to operate in a transparent manner. In other words if you are doing good you should not have any secrets that’s what the regulations contemplate. Now if you intend to do evil maybe you should not hide behind a non-profit.”

Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins, however, stood on a point of order saying that Mr Fitzgerald was imputing improper motives on the part of those who were not in the House to defend themselves.

He urged House Speaker Dr Kendal Major to compel Mr Fitzgerald to withdraw the statement.

Later he questioned whether this was the Bahamas or Zimbabwe, a country which he claimed often chased justices out of office.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 6 months ago

Isn't this the same Fitzgerald, who with the evil Wicked Witch of the West (Allyson Maynard-Gibson), attempted to cover up the very serious health issues arising from his constituents' ongoing exposure to highly toxic fumes and deadly contaminated water associated with the enormous gasoline leak in the Marathon area? This scoundrel should not be taken seriously in anything he says or does - he only cares about himself and his own political ambitions. The good people of Marathon would need to have their heads examined (for the effects of toxic gasoline fumes) if they are stupid enough to support this imbecile in the next general election.

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Islandgirl 3 years, 6 months ago

These are the masters of smoke and mirrors, distraction and deflection. What do we expect. We are beyond "in a mess". They have to be removed post haste. My God. I cannot believe the chess pool this country has become. These bastards have to be made accountable.

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cmiller 3 years, 6 months ago

These politicians are just a pack of little attack dogs. Biting at the heels of anybody who dares make them accountable. Sad sacks!!!!

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 6 months ago

Mr:Smith wants to run the Bahamas the courts, the police, the immigration department the house every government agencey and there are those who seem to want to help him in this regard. Now Fred said he is FNM and he is in charge of STB It appears they are working together. Maybe that is wh Mr: Pintard went to Bains town to see who he could find to make up lies. The Judge looks very much like Fred she could pass for his sister. and if it is true that she only gave Mr. Fitzgereld and Mr: Mitchell an hour to appear , there has to be something very wrong with that.

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Islandgirl 3 years, 6 months ago

You are actually okay with what these "parliamentarians" are doing? How is it that they now have the "privilege" of trampling the rights of any private citizen in this country? They are NOT above the law. Separate yourself from sniffing high and deep in these people's rear ends. This is OUR COUNTRY we are talking about here, and it is undeniable that it is being destroyed ad hoc by these egotistical asses! So what if the woman looks like Fred Smith! what's your point??? Have you ever looked at marguerite pindling? Using your logic, she could pass for their mother. You must have graduated with highest honors from pindling's University of Wulff Road. Disgraceful.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 6 months ago

Who was found guilty of having live shots and who is before the courts right now for accepting bribs FNM's or PLP and who parked their vehicle in the disable space?And who has the filthy mouth on this site FNM or PLP. And who has no sense of reasoning, they run with sound bites with no sense of reasoning?

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Islandgirl 3 years, 6 months ago

And who couldn't account for $800,000.00 in their Scotia bank account? And who built the mansion of skyline and sent all his children to boarding and professional schools on a public servant's salary (even if it was the highest position in the land)? And who allowed the Medellin cartel to run this country into the swamp? And whose actions amounted to victimization of any one who stood up against him running this place like the despot led to the breed of politicians we have in place today? And whose actions got us to the place from the late 70's onward where morals, principles, ethics and the belief in honest, hard work to get ahead is barely a memory? That was reasonable to you? Please. Country first, bird brain. It belongs to all of us and not a select few.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 6 months ago

Futher more when these fellows get themselves in trouble do they look for the out spoken QC to represente them. It appears they know something that those on this site does not know.. Now do not cuss me just tell me if I lied.

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themessenger 3 years, 6 months ago

Ikalik, you might as well save your breath when it comes to Birdie, after all what more do you expect from a horses ass but horse shit.

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realfreethinker 3 years, 6 months ago

birdie is a complete idiot. No sense of discernment

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Sickened 3 years, 6 months ago

The whole bar association should be standing by Indra and marching on Parliament! Someone has got to stop this corruption and cover up. If our legal system can't stop these people and the military (our police) won't investigate and stop them, then what future do we have as a nation?

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

I LOOK FORWARD TO THE PLP BRINGING THE JUDGE TO THE BAR OF THE HOUSE FOR A TONGUE LASHING .................. WELCOME TO ZIMBABWE

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

IT WILL NEVER HAPPENED. . .LIKE THE HOUSE, THE HIGH COURT ANSWERS TO NO OTHER ARM OF THE GOVERNMENT!!

THE HIGH COURT ANSWERS TO NO BODY EXCEPT THE GG. . .CHECK THE CONSTITUTION. . .LIKE THE GG.. . THE SUPEREME COURT IS NOT ANSWERABLE TO PARLIAMENT!!!

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 6 months ago

You all may be surprised to learn that the Judge can not control the house, The sp eaker does.and he does a great job unlike Alvin Smith FNM speaker of the house. But you all do not care about truth. Lies and more lies then cuss and cuss some more. Now tell me what kind of mean spirited person parks in a disabled person parking space? Let me tell you all a mean spirited FNM.

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Islandgirl 3 years, 6 months ago

Let them get your private correspondences and most deeply personal secrets and blab that in Parliament and see how you feel about it. What they are doing is a gross distortion of what parliamentary privilege was intended for, and being lawyers for the most part, they should know better. They are employed by us, the Bahamian public, and they have to be made accountable. These employees have been insubordinate to our wishes; they've gotten wealthy using our assets by means of this employment; they are most displeasing and must be fired. When this crew is voted out, they all must be made to make reparations for the damage they have done.

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Wideawake 3 years, 6 months ago

Go to Jail, go directly to Jail!, do not pass Go! You already collected your 200 ( and a whole lot more!)

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kairosmatt 3 years, 6 months ago

No matter what people's motives are the fact is that Fitzgerald is abusing parliamentary privileged and should be held in contempt and probably spend time in jail.

The fact is that he disclosed private emails from a private firm that he obtained illegally and he did it in a way that was also illegal (before parliament without anybody being able to defend themselves.)

The fact is that he, nor Coward Davis, nor any PLP, have disclosed their own income which they are legally required to as MPs.

Not matter the motives, in this case the criminals are clearly Fitzgerald, the Coward Davis, and the rest of the PLPs.

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Economist 3 years, 6 months ago

When Our Constitution was written it was inconceivable that MP's would behave the way they do today.

It would appear that they need a set of rules that is thousands of pages long.

Sad, when they were elected to run the Country for the benefit of ALL Bahamians.

They should be the first to uphold the law.

We must not forget that the Constitution is the supreme document not the MP's.

That means that the Court, which is charged with the interpretation of the law, can send an Order to the members of the House to follow the law.

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Emac 3 years, 6 months ago

Why anyone would want to even recognize birdies is a mystery to me. Simply ignore the bird and he/she will fly away. Some comments are just not worth reading or responding to. Simple as that.

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bluesky 3 years, 6 months ago

IkalikI... if the Appeals Court set aside the Judge's ruling, would you apologize to Birdie Strachan???

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 6 months ago

They seem to have made a general statement...nothing to do with the ruling....

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 6 months ago

"So it’s all right to use a broad brush to paint the government with corruption, but when the facts start coming out all of a sudden you don’t want freedom of information. The irony of this is, as a non-profit Save The Bays falls under the Non-Profit Organisation Regulations 2014 and they are required by law to operate in a transparent manner. In other words if you are doing good you should not have any secrets that’s what the regulations contemplate. Now if you intend to do evil maybe you should not hide behind a non-profit."

This must be the worst excuse for minister of education ever. How did he get responsibility for the FOIA but yet apparently has no idea what it means??? FOIA does NOT mean you can reveal any information you please. There is a process to determine if there is a need to release information. At the very least, there was certainly no need to reveal what Dianne Phillips, KB and Joe Darville were making, what purpose did that serve other than salacious girly gossip? The scary thing is, his dumb statement was made this week, when he had weeks to sit down and type in F, O, I, A, and read the definition...oh I forgot, the minister of education &technology, self admittedly, doesn't know how to use a smart phone either....

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 6 months ago

In my opinion they need to demolish the Pointe, it's a monstrosity. Completely out of place. It belongs on the cable beach strip not in downtown Nassau.

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Sickened 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm now thinking the same thing. I had NO IDEA it was going to be so friggin big. You can't even see the hotel when driving into town (from the West). I know we need parking downtown but that thing is HUGE!!

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

The house cannot call a SC Judge before parliament for making a ruling they don't like! They can only make an appeal to the Appeal Court. . .then move on to the PC for redress if the AC don't rule in their favor!!

WHAT THESE ROGUES WILL NOT TELL US IS THAT THE SC HAS IMMUNITY FROM THEM. . .IN FACT, THE COURT CHANGE ANY LAW THEY ENACT IF IT GOES AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION!! THE COURTS ARE NOT SUBJECTED TO PARLIAMENT!!

AS FOR BIRDIE. . .HE/SHE COULD GO HELP MR. SMITH PAY SOME OF THAT BIG "FINE" THE SC DUMP ON HIS TAIL FOR MESSING WITH SAVE THE BAY! AND ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION. . .HE CAN'T APPEAL THE RULING.

JUST WAIT UNTIL THE BOBO AND TOGGIE MOVIE PLAYS OUT FURTHER IN THE COURT. . .BIRDIE WILL HAVE TO SELL SOME OF THEM FEATHERS TO HELP THEM PLPS OUT.

AND YINNA JUST WATCH. . .THE REFERANDUM IS GOING DOWN JUST BECAUSE THE PLP IS DOING IT. . .THERE IS A 100% DISDAIN FOR THE PLP OUT HERE. . .I HAVE NEVER SEEN IT SO BAD BEFORE. . .EVEN PAPA DID NOT HAVE THIS MUCH HATE IN 2012. . .THE PEOPLE HATE THIS GOVERNMENT FOR REAL!!

I WAS IN A STORE WHEN RUBY NOTTAGE CAME ON TALKING ABOUT THE REFERANDUM AND THERE WAS A 100% ABSOLUTE NO VOTE FROM EVERY PERSON PRESENT. . .NOT A ONE WOULD GIVE THE PLP THE TIME OF DAY!! THEY ARE IN TROUBLE MORE THAN I THOUGHT. . . THIS WILL BE BLOODY FOR THEM. . .WHICH I BELIEVE WILL CARRY-OVER INTO THE 2017 ELECTION!!

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cmiller 3 years, 6 months ago

I have seen that lately too. Went to a government clinic, one man started to bad mouth the PLP and seems to me that about 98% of the people there started cussing the government out too. Went to get my car licensed, same thing happened. People are pretty hot and angry with the government and people really, really, really hurting out there.

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