NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has accused National Security Minister Wayne Munroe of prejudicing the investigation into an alleged altercation between Transport and Housing minister Jobeth Colebey-Davis and a police officer in May.
Minnis, who made his comments in the House of Assembly yesterday, was speaking after Munroe told Eyewitness News on Tuesday that he has seen unreleased footage and witness statements that support Colebey-Davis’ version of what happened during the Carnival Road March event.
A police officer claims the Minister of Transport & Housing struck him when he refused to let her pass through an area, an accusation the minister denies.
“The Minister of National Security when interviewed yesterday said that the police had shown him unreleased footage and witness statements and the minister said the report supports the minister not the police,” Minnis said.
“I would have thought that there is a commissioner of police, the police would form the investigation, he would respond to the commissioner. The minister is a policymaker. That is direct interference into an investigation by a minister.”
Munroe, in response, called for Minnis to withdraw his statement if he couldn’t provide evidence showing he interfered with officers.
He noted that during his interview with Eyewitness News, he said: “(I) was briefed on that as I am briefed on violent crime by the police and that I do not get involved in investigations.”
“They tell me what occurs with a minister of government so that I may brief the prime minister. You really should handle people’s name and reputation a bit better than that Killarney because we were very nice to you today.”
Minnis, however, did not relent.
“It’s on record where the minister himself said police had shown him unreleased footage and witness statements and from what he said these reports support the minister, meaning the minister who was involved in the event, and not the police,” he said.
“One has to ask the question, is the minister receiving such information, is he prejudicing the investigation? And can it be interpreted…as intimidation since those individuals are employed indirectly by the minister and yet the minister himself is receiving information before the final investigation is completed?
“Every Bahamian would know that that could be interpreted as interference and one has to ask the question, is he now the commissioner of police? Is he the judiciary? He has already put out to the public that the evidence that he’s seen favours the minister. He has already distorted the minds of the public and has prejudiced the case. He is not the commissioner of police. If he was appointed as commissioner of police, I have not yet been told.”
On Monday, Eyewitness News published the police statement of a witness who claims that a woman, purportedly Colebey-Davis, bumped an officer with her car.
In response, Munroe on Tuesday said police are not yet complete with their inquiry.