Bethel dismisses calls for resignation

Bethel dismisses calls for resignation
Attorney General Carl Bethel

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Attorney General Carl Bethel said yesterday the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was just “play politics” as he dismissed calls for his resignation.

PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis called on Bethel to be fired or made to resign, accusing him of “political persecution” of PLPs with respect to the bribery trials of two PLP politicians, namely Frank Smith, the former chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority, and Shane Gibson, the former minister of labour.

Last week, Gibson was acquitted of bribery charges brought against him.

In February, Smith was acquitted of bribery and extortion charges, and the Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the government’s appeal in August.

Outside the Churchill Building, Bethel dismissed the calls for his resignation.

He said: “Mr. Davis is just playing politics.

“He knows that attorney generals play no role in the conduct of any investigation, so you, I have nothing further to say at this time. If he persists, I may have some things to say, but right now all I say is he need to stop playing politics.”

At a special call meeting at the PLP’s headquarters on Monday night, Davis called for a formal inquiry into the government’s actions concerning both cases.

He also called on Prime Minister Hubert Minnis to resign.

To this, Bethel said he and the prime minister are on a long list of people the PLP wish to resign.

“At the end of the day, we have a duty to protect and observe every provision in the constitution of The Bahamas, chief among which is that in the exercise of the discretion of the attorney general, he does so under the command of no man.”

The government has said it has no intention of appealing the Gibson decision.