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Corruption In Smith Case? ‘Nonsense’

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames yesterday called accusations of corruption a “disgrace” as he rejected calls for a Commission of Inquiry into police conduct in the bribery and extortion trial of former PLP Senator Frank Smith.

Mr Dames told reporters outside Parliament he would not participate in a spectacle, adding he was “sick and tired of responding to nonsense”. “I won’t go there anymore,” Mr Dames said, “it’s nonsense.”

The Mount Moriah MP is also facing opposition calls for him to resign over his own involvement in the case - now set for appeal.

Mr Dames said: “I have every confidence in the Royal Bahamas Police Force that when they undertake an investigation that they will do all within their power under the framework of the law to ensure that justice prevails. Whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed or whether there is insufficient evidence, and they do it in consultation with the Department of Public Prosecutions.

“I am not an investigator,” he continued, “the commissioner of police is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the force. I have every confidence that he and his men and women are doing their utmost best to be fair in the execution of their duties, but to stand here and to level accusations on the Royal Bahamas Police Force is a disgrace and it’s nonsense and I will not continue to go down that road.”

Former State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez, QC, is calling for a commission of inquiry due to “chilling” concerns raised during trial.

Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, in her ruling last Friday, pointed to numerous “inconsistencies” and “discrepancies” in the Crown’s case, and cited the “egregious” behaviour of two Cabinet ministers - Mr Dames and Health Minister Dr Duane Sands - connected to the matter.

Dr Sands again declined comment on the matter yesterday.

Irregularities in the phone logs of Mr Smith and complainant Barbara Hanna that were produced by police and the logs from Mr Smith’s billing company were also raised at trial.

In reference to this, Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said: “The call logs were likely manipulated to create the false impression that the accused was constantly calling Barbara Hanna when, in fact, it was the reverse.”

Outside Parliament yesterday, Mr Dames said: “Have you ever heard of any other commission of inquiry coming out of a case...just follow that, let’s talk about these young men and women who go before the courts every day. What are we doing to help them out?

“See we have to be careful not to politicise cases, and I’m not going to speak to that and I made it clear from day one, because I’m not going down that road.

“I’ve been a part of investigations for decades,” he added. “I have given evidence inside and outside of the Bahamas. I’m not going to be a part of a spectacle.”

Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson declined comment on the matter yesterday.

Attempts to reach the Bahamas Bar Association for comment were unsuccessful up to press time.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Not unsurprisingly, Dames just doesn't get it. This arse wouldn't know what conflict of interest is if it hit him broad side his thick head! LMAO

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Naughtydread 1 year, 2 months ago

The US department of Justice reports a 93% conviction rate. Then you have the Bahamas were prosecutors seemingly intimidate their defendant and make up false evidence...... I mean you literally can't make this stuff up. This shows the massive amount of shortcomings from our judicial system. Carl Bethel and the entire FNM should feel ashamed and realize that they are nothing but a bunch of Mickey Mouse clowns running around in suits. If you ever want to make some quick money just sue to government because they can't even find way into the courtroom without asking for directions.

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes, or no - wasn't best way avoid even appearance cabinet whatever - was not appear act ways what was brungs out testimony during criminal proceedings to makes a comrade chief magistrate deliver stern rebukes from bench. Yes, no - the judge must have been deeply disturbed about something after hearing testimony and examining some areas da evidence? All media and bloggers talking is repeating what chief magistrate had say from bench, yes, no- isn't your fight be with judge, not street corner talk-ers?.

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BahamasForBahamians 1 year, 2 months ago

Dames is embattled.

He's guilty of meddling in this case.

Get rid of him

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hrysippus 1 year, 2 months ago

And the plp trolls are out in force on this one. Did the police have an officer on the force who doctored the cell phone call log? Hard to say from I have read. If it happened it would be "perverting the course of justice" rather than "corruption". But, hey, trolls, don't let a little thing like truth get in the way of you trying to score political points.

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

Really now comrade, point where chief magistrate in delivering her stern no holes barred rebuke - did ever even once mention any crown's minister's involvement in the doctoring telephone call logs. Yes, no - do at least try stick da judge's actual transcript and not some red shirts version, likes it be of?

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago

Young men and women going before the courts every day Dames? you are playing Possum very well. Where there 20 Police shootings last year of young men that resulted in their death??. You were front and center at the OBAN fake signing and you did say the pilot did not have a flight Plan. but the divers found one.

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes, or no - all crown ministers need confer with a prime minister who became so traumatised over magnitude corruption - the comrade man's he self not only had be hospitalised - he had get well quickly to traveled clear across to reach other side English Pond, to tell all he fellow presidential and prime ministerial heads Commonwealth countries attending the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in England - how badly corrupt he had just left things back he homeland's Colony of Out Islands. Yes, no - true, untrue - can't just be making such stuff up?

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TigerB 1 year, 2 months ago

A commission of enquiry sounds good, I hope they PLP know they will have to foot the bill, I don't think the government will.

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago

Dames seems to be trying to shift the focus to the Police and others. That will do for the peoples time voters. The Truth is Dames the focus is on you and Sands.

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