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Christie denies any improper behaviour

Prime Minister Perry Christie in the House of Assembly.

Prime Minister Perry Christie in the House of Assembly.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

AMID dramatic scenes in the House of Assembly yesterday, Prime Minister Perry Christie defended himself against allegations featured in Supreme Court documents raising concerns over the relationship between himself, other leading PLP figures and billionaire fashion mogul Peter Nygard.

The fiery exchanges came days after The Tribune revealed the allegations, which came as part of an investigation paid for by Save The Bays.

It is alleged that Mr Christie promised Mr Nygard “land” as a favour for $5m he allegedly gave the PLP in the lead up to the last general election.

Mr Christie denied the claims of a quid pro quo, although he did not deny that Mr Nygard gave the PLP $5m. The Prime Minister also revealed that the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) has begun to investigate the matters.

Mr Christie claimed to have asked the police to investigate the matter, but National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage later said he was the one who requested that the probe begin.

And during a press conference at police headquarters, Commissioner Ellison Greenslade added to the confusion about how the police came to investigate the allegations when he said he was the one - independently of any other authority - who initiated the investigation.

Yet even in the context of a Parliament often divided along partisan lines yesterday’s morning session was dramatic as members of the Christie Administration bristled at the allegations of corruption levied by the Free National Movement.

Mr Christie said: “The suggestion that I have used the power of my office to extend special treatment to Peter Nygard is completely and utterly false. There has been no impropriety on my part in any of my dealings with either Peter Nygard or Louis Bacon. Further, I have no reason to believe that any of my cabinet colleagues may have committed any such impropriety either.

“I am satisfied that a thorough investigation into the matters in question will be carried out by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. I call upon the opposition to co-operate in such an investigation as well. It is important to determine whether or not any of their members may have instigated, facilitated or otherwise have been complicit in any criminal activity in relation to any aspect of this matter.

“Finally, there is ongoing civil litigation before the courts involving Mr Bacon, Mr Nygard, the Bahamas government and the Save the Bays action group concerning the Nygard property at Lyford Cay. The government’s evidence in this case regarding the handling of environmental issues and the issuance or withholding of permits will reveal that the government has at all times behaved in a completely lawful and honest manner without fear or favour towards any of the contending parties.”

Members of the opposition rejected the suggestion that they could be implicated in the matter, with Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant emphasising that the party should not be painted with a broad brush.

Opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis said: “If the investigations show that the opposition has facilitated such an investigation, then I think the opposition should be applauded.”

Dr Minnis said the allegation that Mr Nygard gave money to fund the PLP’s general election campaign and therefore expected to be rewarded with the leasing of Crown land, was particularly damning.

“Is this not a most sordid and deplorable state of affairs?” he asked. “Why, in respect of Mr Nygard’s claims, to have paid monies to advance his interests, has the Attorney General apparently failed to act under the Prevention of Corruption and Bribery Act? The Prime Minister should also explain to the Bahamian people what steps are being taken by the Attorney General to carry out her legal and constitutional duty to fully and properly investigate what appear to be very specific allegations of bribery of serving Cabinet ministers.”

In response, Mr Christie said: “My major concern in this whole matter is that there are people who are involved in this designed the outcome and they knew the outcome would be opposition figures getting up and asking questions about whether this nation is for sale, whether or not the Prime Minister acted improperly because his party received a major political donation,” he said.

“In so far as those allegations are concerned, I have strongly rejected them. I have also indicated that the files will be available to the investigators and the files will be available to the Supreme Court. By the very tapes (Dr Minnis) referred to, the developer is indicating that the Prime Minister has not acted in the way he would have expected the Prime Minister to act.

“So now the question is, there are some ministers who could persuade the Prime Minister to do something the Prime Minister feels he shouldn’t do. Well when that gon’ happen? When is that gon’ happen, that the Prime Minister will do something he shouldn’t do because some ministers come to him.”

Dr Andre Rollins, referring to Mr Davis and Mr Gibson, interrupted Mr Christie by shouting: “Well those ministers should be fired Mr Prime Minister. They should be fired.”

Mr Christie, responded: “They didn’t come to me. No ministers came to me.”

Comments

SP 8 years, 1 month ago

................. OK Christie....We believe you. And thanks for the help and hope too! .............

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SP 8 years, 1 month ago

... Cuba moving forward at lightning speed. Bahamas maintains reverse hyper-drive ....

50+ years after a stifling U.S. embargo, Cuba is now once again the # 1 "go to" country of choice in the region for investors and North American as U.S. travel to Cuba soared 77 percent in 2015.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa...">http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa...

Business's from US, EU and LA countries are clamoring over each other to get in on the ground floor as Cuba welcomes all with open arms.

The PLP and FNM 43 years of massive corruption and concentration on friends, family and lovers totally neglected to develop our country for the benefit of all Bahamians.

Now look at where we are...... A broken, unemployed people, overrun with foreigners holding our jobs from domestic workers to big downtown business's once owned by proud Bahamians!

What kind of "leaders" destroy their own people?

Yes.....Mr. Perry Gladston Christie....Your legacy is forever set with the spilled blood, dashed hopes, crushed dreams and destruction of our people.

For that I pray and we ALL PRAY you get your just deserve!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 8 years, 1 month ago

Not to worry, Reuters is a thoroughly left wing 'news' service, not always reliable. The media are working triple time to push castrogonia as the new Heaven on Earth, when in fact it's still the same old, third-world, communist basket case gulag.

Castro has a long history of wooing suckers, er, sorry, investors, whom he treats in predictable manner, as he outlined in his quote, below:

"Yanqui businessmen are fools, adventurers and piratical idiots. Of course we shall trade with them, and then take what is theirs, and kill them." - 'Dr.' Fidel Castro-Ruz, ca. 1995

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SP 8 years, 1 month ago

Watch for the Christie shuffle!

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 1 month ago

I am still confused why is it that Perry and the PLP is always trying to get the blessing from the Church when it suits them (e.g. gender referendum) ............ but shits on the Church when it doesn't (e.g.numbers poll) ...... HYPOCRITES

Wait till Perry goes crying to the PLP Bishops again for support for the referendum

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 1 month ago

Mr.Christie said he asked for an investigation, Mr: Nottage said he did, Mr: Greenslade said he did. What is the big deal? They all asked for an investigation. Dr: Minnis knows that all political parties take donations from all kinds of people. Mr: Christie gave Nygard in his own words zero, but Mr: Scott said the white folks will not be giving any donations to Minnis. Maybe Save the Bays and Mr: Bacon will give him lots of money.

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Honestman 8 years, 1 month ago

The Progressive Liberal Party - the party funded, and in the pockets of, Peter Nygard, the Numbers Houses and the State of China. Who will rise up and defeat this evil?

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Emac 8 years, 1 month ago

Notice how all the MPs are hanging their heads in shame, thinking, "well gad damn. Look how Christie and Davis get us in this mess ay. Now how we gon keep a straight face wit we constituents dem when we start campaigning?"

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TalRussell 8 years, 1 month ago

Comrades it is a lie to keep repeating that there has been any evidence presented before any court that the nation's PM, or DPM, had any involvement with the arranging or hiring of anyone to commit criminality.

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licks2 8 years, 1 month ago

The Mr. Pintard is not complicit for assisting in the commission of a crime. . .we can't have it both ways. . .they are all guilty or then none of them are complicit!! Them's the breaks!!

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Godson 8 years, 1 month ago

TO THIS EXTENT, FOREIGNERS AND THEIR FOREIGN INTERESTS, as well as, their disagreements and disputes over the use of a drive-way can become the center focus for our politicians including OUR GOVERNMENT and THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION, and can also... force attention for discussions in debate in the halls of The Bahamas' Parliament while the interest and the survival of the Bahamians, for want of a more suitable word and expression, don't seem to mean a shit to them.

THIS IS THE ULTIMATE... use your own words to describe___...

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