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Pm: ‘No Regrets’ On Adrian Fox Support

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

The Prime Minister yesterday said he had “no regrets” over urging a US judge to halt the federal authorities’ pursuit of Island Luck’s co-founder over charges relating to human smuggling.

Philip Davis QC, speaking to the media, said Adrian Fox was “his client” when he headed his Davis & Company law firm and he was “very familiar with him”.

Disclosing that he had acted on Mr Fox’s behalf in talks with US law enforcement prior to being appointed deputy prime minister in 2012, he added: “I had discussions myself on his behalf with the US government prior to 2012, and he has so reordered his life and his philanthropy, and what he has been doing and helping this community.

“I thought it only fitting for me to say to the court what I thought of him and those are my views. Asked if I would do it again, I would do it again. I have no regrets.”

Mr Davis was responding after this newspaper revealed he was among numerous Bahamian politicians, clergymen, attorneys and even former FBI agents to submit character references to the southern New York federal court on Mr Fox’s behalf ahead of his October 15 sentencing on charges linked to a human smuggling operation.

Mr Fox’s plea deal with US authorities, which omits all mention of the human smuggling offences he was initially charged with, has resulted in him agreeing to plead guilty to one count of helping to operate a vessel in US waters “in a grossly negligent manner”.

Besides Mr Davis, character references were also supplied by two of his newly-elected Cabinet ministers, Jomo Campbell, minister of state for legal affairs, and Alfred Sears, minister of works and utilities. Both men and their law firms provided legal services to Mr Fox and his companies prior to their election as MPs and Cabinet ministers, and their letters were also written in August 2021.

Two ex-Cabinet ministers also vouched on Mr Fox’s behalf, Shane Gibson and Leslie Miller. And further character references were submitted by Mr Miller’s daughter, Leslia Miller-Brice, the newly-elected Seabreeze MP, and her husband Leander, who operates the Asure Win web shop chain and is the Island Luck co-founder’s nephew.

Testimonies from two ex-FBI agents; multiple Bahamian clergymen; two UK expatriates who are neighbours of Mr Fox in Ocean Club Estates on Paradise Island; and other attorneys, business partners and persons aided by Mr Fox’s generosity rounded out the character references.

Mr Davis, who is also minister for finance, said: “I’m looking for the best and brightest amongst us to bring about the big changes I have for this country. Each one person I have some confidence in to help me deliver that.”

Describing the Government’s fiscal position as “dismal”, Mr Davis said he and his team are trying to get “answers” to the questions he has raised after reviewing the Ministry of Finance’s position.

Referring to recently-reinstated financial secretary, Simon Wilson, the Prime Minister added: “He was always the financial secretary. He was sent home and he was still being paid out of the public purse. For four years the Government has been paying him for doing nothing. Now he’s back to work.”

Marlon Johnson replaced Mr Wilson as acting financial secretary after the 2017 general election.

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