By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
THE convicted criminals who first alleged they were hired by Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard to murder opponents have changed their story, according to affidavits released by Mr Nygard yesterday.
The affidavits, purported to be sworn by Wisler “BoBo” Davilma and Livingston “Toggie” Bullard in Manitoba, Canada on March 24, 2015, alleged the men were promised $3m for their “false testimony” and paid $50,000 upfront.
In a press statement released yesterday by a spokesperson for Mr Nygard along with the affidavits, it was alleged the men also made a secret recording of a payment meeting at the Hilton hotel in downtown Nassau in the presence of Free National Movement Senator Michael Pintard in February 2015.
According to the documents, the men claimed they met with Mr Pintard several times in February 2015 to discuss Mr Nygard.
The claims are a complete turnaround from their testimony in court documents filed in the Supreme Court on March 9 and appear to exonerate Mr Nygard from their initial claims. According to the statement, Mr Nygard did not pay Davilma or Livingston for their sworn testimony.
The press release also said Mr Nygard’s attorneys have turned over evidence to Bahamian police and plan to formally ask local law enforcement to investigate his billionaire neighbour, Lyford Cay resident Louis Bacon, and others involved in the alleged “murder for hire” plot lawsuit against him.
“The thrust of this thinly veiled publicity stunt, disguised as a lawsuit, focuses on a fictitious murder plot supposedly aimed at Fred Smith and Louis Bacon because of their opposition through Save The Bays to development plans at Nygard Cay,” a Nygard spokesperson said. “But the evidence presented in the complaint, particularly the video recordings of Mr Nygard and the two criminals, refute that Mr Nygard had anything to do with such a plot or any of the other crimes alleged in the complaint.”
The press release added: “The statements and tape recording given to Mr Nygard by the two criminals help prove that allegations made in the March 9 lawsuit are fabricated. The lawsuit was filed against Mr Nygard and attorney Keod Smith in the Supreme Court of The Bahamas by Save The Bays Directors Joseph Darville, Romauld Ferreira, Fred Smith, Mr Bacon and Rev CB Moss.”
A Nygard spokesperson called the lawsuit an attempt by operatives to destroy Mr Nygard’s reputation, and drive out the Progressive Liberal Party government that he supports so that, under a Free National Movement government, he would be prevented from obtaining the permit he needs to expand Nygard Cay.
The statement said Mr Nygard’s lawyers plan to file a criminal complaint against those “involved in this campaign to smear his reputation”.
The statement added that Mr Nygard wants police to investigate allegations of counselling to commit murder, given that the two criminals “tried to get Mr Nygard to instruct them or someone else to kill Mr Bacon”.
The Nygard spokesman added: “Mr Bacon’s investigators obtained copies of the transcript and affidavits taken in Canada and sworn to by Mr Davilma and Mr Bullard. Therefore, they knew that the two criminals were (allegedly) lying to them when they took sworn statements from them about being paid for the protest and other matters. We will be moving to strike Mr Bacon’s recent statement of claim against Mr Nygard and Keod Smith as frivolous, vexatious and scandalous.”
The affidavits released by Mr Nygard’s representatives have not been filed in court but were prepared in contemplation of litigation, according to the documents.
Both show that Mr Davilma and Mr Bullard “realise” their affidavits would be sent to the Deputy Prime Minister, Philip “Brave” Davis, and that “he is free to make whatever use of this Affidavit he or the Government of The Bahamas deems fit, despite the fact that the word privileged appears on the transcript”.
The Save The Bays plaintiffs said in their Supreme Court filing that the two criminals had been paid to turn against Mr Nygard.