By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames said he is not concerned that the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Peter Nygard will be compromised by the fact that officers are named in a lawsuit that accuses the wealthy Canadian of raping dozens of women.
A civil lawsuit filed in New York last year claimed senior police officers, both past and present, were on Mr Nygard’s payroll and frequented Nygard Cay.
Those claims sparked renewed interest after the Southern District of New York unveiled a criminal indictment against Mr Nygard last month that made allegations closely mirroring those in the first civil lawsuit.
Asked yesterday whether an officer named in the civil lawsuit is involved in the local investigation into
Mr Nygard’s actions, Mr Dames said he has confidence in Police Commissioner Paul Rolle.
“That is a question for the Commissioner,” he said.
“I have the highest confidence in the Commissioner and his ability and his integrity to ensure that every matter – not only to which you speak – that every matter that is reported to the police is investigated with the highest degree of transparency and the highest degree of integrity and there are checks and balances within the system and there are checks and balances outside of the system.
“Again, I have no concerns about this matter or any other serious matter being compromised because of someone internally. I’m certain the Commissioner knows exactly what he has to do and to ensure that he is being accountable to those who would’ve made the complaints and he is being accountable to the Bahamian people at large. At the end of the day this is a matter that is constantly out there in the public sphere and time will tell.”
Asked how the RBPF is treating the allegation, he said: “I’m certain the police force, the Commissioner of Police is, as any Commissioner would do and I hear from the Commissioner on a regular basis, all of these matters are treated with the highest degree of seriousness. These are allegations being made and, as I said before, everyone would want to clear their name, so I’m not going to get into this conversation around an individual where allegations would’ve been made.
“The police, the Commissioner and his team of officers know exactly what they have to do. I have no concern about their ability to investigate these matters with the highest degree of transparency and integrity and at the end of the day the facts will bear it out. This is an investigation that covers multiple jurisdictions. Sometimes allegations are made against a person and it’s found at the end of the day to be totally wrong, sometimes they’re made and at the end of day it’s found there is some veracity to it. Let’s see where the investigation goes and where it leads and at the end of the day the outcome will determine who is involved and their degree of involvement.”
The RBPF, which has taken no action against Mr Nygard, faced scrutiny after American prosecutors brought charges against the fashion mogul last month even though criminal complaints were first made to local police in late summer of 2019.
“I don’t know about the lack of action,” Mr Dames said.
“I know that when the matter was first brought to the attention to the police, then the Commissioner had moved on it quickly. We know that sometimes these investigations are protracted for any number of reasons, sometimes you can’t catch up with witnesses… and sometimes witnesses are outside of the country, you have to make contact, that’s the nature of investigations. You can take a file and bring it to completion within a week, sometimes two weeks, sometimes a few months, sometimes a few years, I mean that’s the nature of investigations.”