Prime Minister Perry Christie.
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME MINISTER Perry Christie and Deputy Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis have been questioned by police in connection with a murder for hire plot, according to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.
Commissioner Greenslade told a press conference at police headquarters yesterday that he had launched an official investigation into claims that Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard orchestrated 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.
Both Prime Minister Christie and Deputy Prime Minister Davis’ names were mentioned in secret recordings between Mr Nygard, Livingston “Toggie” Bullard and Wisler “Bobo” Davilma.
Bullard and 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.
Mr Greenslade said the independent investigation will determine whether there is anything of a criminal nature that the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) should be pursuing, “if there is any matter that originates of a criminal nature and whether there is any capability in terms of anyone we have reason to speak to”.
Mr Greenslade said he received no complaints from anyone in any of the affidavits who claimed their lives were threatened or any reports from anyone who had information of someone doing a “wrong deed”. He also said that as a result of this investigation several persons “could be arrested and charged or worse”.
The Commissioner said the first he heard of the murder for hire plot was when he read The Tribune last Thursday.
“I directed an investigation on Friday past. I have assigned an assistant commissioner, a superintendent and one of my legal experts along with a number of other supporting officers to seek to determine if there is any veracity to what I read,” Mr Greenslade said.
“I decided based upon the fact that names were called in the newspaper and other places, to have the detectives go and see the Rt Hon Prime Minister Perry Christie, to see the Hon Deputy Prime Minister Phillip Davis, certainly to see Mr Keod Smith, Rev Dr CB Moss and any other people whose names were called in open source documents to go and seek them to seek to determine if there is anything of a criminal nature that we as a police department should be pursuing.
“I wish to also indicate that the Rt Hon Prime Minister has spoken directly to our lead detective to indicate his level of discontent. I suspect that as we speak our detectives will be seeing our DPM and I am suspecting that we might before the day is out, we might have complaints formally, on the record, in statement form or affidavit in our possession so we may continue to move forward with our investigation.”
Mr Greenslade also questioned how John Joseph DiPaolo, a Fort Lauderdale investigator paid for by Save The Bays, was able to come into the Bahamas and conduct an investigation without the permission of the RBPF or a work permit from the Department of Immigration.
“The Florida investigator did not make the affidavit available to the police. I did not know that an investigator, and see this is where you have to be careful, I did not now that you can come into the Bahamas and work without any reference to the Royal Bahamas Police Force and you meet with people and conduct business,” Mr Greenslade said.
“I was of the view that you had to have a work permit to work in the Bahamas: that is the law. I have no information, nor my senior team, of anyone who has written to me to come into this country and conduct any investigation at all. So that’s also being pursued. I will be speaking with my brother, the Director of Immigration, to see if he has anything on file, or to see if the name we are getting is the right name. We don’t know what we are dealing with.”
Mr Greenslade also dispelled assumptions that he or any members of his team can be “bought or manipulated in any way”.
“I work for the law. I want you to check the record. This Commissioner Ellison Elroy Greenslade don’t play games like that with nobody ... I work for the common man and I am a slave to the law; no one directs me or instructs me to do anything that is not consistent with the law,” Mr Greenslade said.
“I have never had a conversation with the Prime Minister where he has asked me to do something illegal or to cut corners. It has never happened, at no time. The National Security Minister has never asked me to do anything illegal or contrary to law and even if he asks me I will not do it.”
In the House of Assembly yesterday the Prime Minister distanced himself from any wrongdoing and called for the opposition to co-operate with the investigation.
On Friday Mr Davis accused The Tribune of conducting a “shameful” smear campaign against him by publishing from affidavits that suggest that he had a close relationship with hired criminals.