LEFT: The court documents in PDF form.
CLICK HERE for the court documents with links from the contents pages.
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
CANADIAN fashion mogul Peter Nygard has been accused of orchestrating a murderous plot against his billionaire neighbour Louis Bacon and lawyer Fred Smith, his chief opponents in an ongoing campaign against development at Nygard Cay, according to court documents filed yesterday.
Affidavits detail a year-long investigation into claims that Mr Nygard contracted two criminals to harrass, intimidate and cause physical harm and property damage to four directors of the Save The Bays organisation, Reverend C B Moss, a government official and several others.
Save The Bays directors Joseph Darville, Romauld Ferreira, Mr Smith and Mr Bacon and Rev Moss have filed a writ in the Supreme Court against Mr Nygard and lawyer Keod Smith. They allege that the defendents orchestrated a two-and-a-half-year campaign of fear and violence to “kill or scare off” activists he saw as opponents to development plans for his Lyford Cay property.
They are seeking damages and a permanent injunction against Mr Nygard and Keod Smith restraining them from arranging any further tactics against them.
Paid thugs claimed to have close links to Deputy PM
The claims against Peter Nygard made in court documents
The 400 pages of documents and 19 videos detail the findings of a team of retired FBI and Scotland Yard professionals and Bahamian investigators, who investigated the claims of criminals Livingston “Toggie” Bullard and Wisler “Bobo” Davilma.
Mr Bullard and Mr Davilma identified themselves as high profile gang members in court documents and allege that Mr Nygard gave them a “hit list” of people to murder or “send a message” to - with Mr Smith and Mr Bacon topping the list as the “worst of all”. Others on the list included lawyer Pericles Maillis and Tribune Business Editor Neil Hartnell.
The criminals were tracked down with the help of Free National Movement senator Michael Pintard and former senator John Bostwick, who alerted Mr Smith that the men were behind the protests against Save The Bays.
The two men reportedly co-operated with the investigation in return for compensation for their actions as whistleblowers and to ensure the protection of themselves and their families.
During the course of the investigation, investigators covertly recorded video and audio of five separate meetings between Mr Bullard, Mr Davilma and Mr Nygard that are purported to have taken place in a car. The men were purported to have discussed acts of violence.
The criminals also detailed their surveillance of Fred Smith, whom they claim is still under threat.
The men allege they were paid almost $400,000 to stage four separate protests or “hate rallies” against Save The Bays, namely Mr Bacon and Mr Smith, at Rawson Square in July 2014, the organisation’s event in December 2014, the 2015 New Year’s Day Junkanoo parade and at a Supreme Court hearing in June 2015.
The criminals also allege they were paid $5,000 to threaten and “rough up” Director of Physical Planning Michael Major over his refusal to grant Mr Nygard the permits he needed for developments at his Lyford Cay property.
According to the writ, Mr Bullard and Mr Davilma take credit for the firebombing of Rev Moss’ car in 2013 – a job they said was contracted by Mr Nygard for $10,000 each. The pair also claim they received $10,000 to burn down a Wulff Road business owned by an alleged ex-girlfriend of Mr Nygard in 2014.
The suit is the latest in a longstanding legal battle over alleged unauthorised dredging and related development at Nygard Cay launched against Mr Nygard by Mr Bacon and the Save the Bays organisation. According to the court documents, the plaintiffs compensated Mr Bullard and Mr Davilma for being whistleblowers in exposing Mr Nygard’s alleged criminal activities.
Since the threats surfaced the plaintiffs said they have taken significant precautionary measures, including employing bodyguards on a 24-hour basis and installing sophisticated perimeter protective systems.
According to Mr Bullard as recently as January Mr Nygard remained determined that Mr Bacon be killed and promised to compensate Mr Bullard and Mr Davilma with whatever they wished when the job was done, at one point offering to build a house each.
In a statement released last night, the plaintiffs described what they had endured and raised complaints against the lack of action by the police after they had complained.
“These five victims have withstood a two and one half year long co-ordinated campaign of harassment, intimidation, burglary, hate marches involving thousands of paid protestors, death threats, fire bombings and/or physical attacks,” the statement read.
“Since the Police had failed to adequately respond, despite multiple entreaties by the victims, they were forced into conducting a private investigation into these serious claims. During this investigation, multiple sources have provided credible evidence that two of the plaintiffs are/were the targets of a murder-for-hire plan.
“With this lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek the protection of the Supreme Court of the Bahamas, as the one institution that remains independent from Nygard and his political protectors, in the hope that by shining a bright light into this dark world, the plaintiffs, their families and their colleagues will be shielded from any further acts of violence and intimidation.”
WARNING: VIDEOS CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE