NASSAU, BAHAMAS – After four Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) supporters were arrested and appeared before the magistrate’s court on Wednesday, Opposition leader Phillip Brave Davis said the Minnis administration was “embarrassed by the exposure of the egregious and quite possible criminal behaviour by multiple members of their Cabinet,” so they, therefore, launched a new offensive.
Davis’ comments came during a PLP press conference at Gambier House on Wednesday, shortly after opposition MP’s stormed out of the lower chamber after House speaker Halson Moultrie denied Davis the opportunity to speak on a point of order.
Former Urban Renewal Deputy Director, Michelle Reckley, Kylon Vincent, Stephanie Collie and Chris Symonette, who police accused of money laundering and fraud were supposed to be arraigned on Tuesday when brought before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt; however, the prosecution was unable to present proper documentation, namely court dockets with a named complainant.
“The four defendants were taken to court deliberately after hours, even though the press had been notified at 9:30 a.m. yesterday so that defendants could not apply for Supreme Court bail and would have to spend the night in prison,” Davis alleged, adding that the defendants were denied their basic rights and access to attorneys.
“Michelle Reckley was not allowed to be properly clothed nor bring her medication. The court dockets have no complaints listed on the docket, so the defendants do not know who their accusers are,” Davis said.
“Additionally, no meals were provided for defendants.
“What we are seeing today isn’t politics. It’s the criminalization of politics and the erosion of our democracy. The current government appears to be determined to use the prosecutorial powers of the Crown to go after members of the opposing political party at whatever cost.
“That’s not democracy, that’s not justice, that’s not The Bahamas, or at least it never has been until now.”
Davis suggested that the Minnis administration may be trying to send a message that, “political opponents will be treated in this manner.”
“Are they celebrating their abuse of power?
“What has the Frank Smith trial cost the taxpayers to date?”
Davis also revealed that in the past days, members of the Minnis administration have reached out to him.
“Many members of the FNM have told me they are horrified by what is unfolding [and] I would say to them, now is the time to stand up for your country. Say to the Prime Minister’s face what you are saying behind his back.
“Let him know this is not a game.”
“These abuses of power strike directly at our confidence in the administration of justice, and when citizens do not trust that the rule of law is administered fairly, you have undermined a key pillar of our democracy,” the opposition leader concluded.
Meanwhile, the Opposition said it is unsure if they will return to the House of Assembly when sessions resume today.