FNM: Nygard allegations “revolting beyond imagination”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday called the allegations linking party members to a federal class action lawsuit accusing Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard of sex trafficking “mere scare tactics”.
Davis further suggested the claims that party members were bribed with sex with underage girls and cash, contained in the federal complaint filed last week, were perpetuated by Free National Movement (FNM) “surrogates”.
“It is a stretch to link the PLP and anyone of its member to allegations that form the basis of the complaint in that there is no basis,” he said.
“It is a stretch and it is the usual sort of spin, political spin that the FNM, through its surrogates attempt to — their surrogates put out these salacious [things] to try to smear the PLP.
Davis said: “But, it is not the PLP that is going to be smeared. I mean we are not going to allow them to do it without pointing out the folly of their ways and the errors of their conclusions.”
In a statement yesterday, the FNM said the allegations of Nygard’s involvement in a sex trafficking ring are “revolting beyond imagination” and called on the PLP to speak “fully and truthfully” to the claims.
“If proven true, these allegations mean many young women were robbed of their childhood and had their lives tragically altered forever,” the FNM said.
“The PLP must now speak up clearly, fully and truthfully regarding the allegations in this complaint. A political party that condones such sick and depraved [alleged] activity on the part of any of its members is unfit to govern The Bahamas.”
The federal class action lawsuit filed in a Manhattan Court on Thursday, details allegations of a decades-long sex-trafficking scheme that Nygard and his companies knowingly facilitated and benefitted from – and Bahamian officials were paid to ignore.
The class action complaint, obtained by Eyewitness News, claims Nygard bribed Bahamian police officers and further seeks to correlate the fashion designer’s financial contributions and engagement with the Progressive Liberal Party as evidence of his political influence.
It alleged Nygard provided PLP party members and corrupts police officers with “children and young women to engage in commercial sex acts with”.
Asked whether the matter could affect the party’s election campaign, Davis said he could not speak to the outcome of the case.
However, he said: “I hope the Bahamian people would see the allegations for what they are, mere scare tactics by surrogates of the FNM.”
In a separate statement, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell said after examining the FNM’s statement, he was certain the governing party is behind “this wicked propaganda campaign”.
He encouraged PLPs to read with “caution and several grains of salt” articles published about the lawsuit.
“We have examined the statement in its entirety and it appears to contain a mish mashed (sic) concoction of everything and the kitchen sink to make a salacious and biased story against the PLP without any evidential foundation,” Mitchell wrote.
“From our analysis of the writ, there is no connection between the references to the PLP and the acts complained of. In fact, one of the captions of a photograph in the writ makes a false identification as a former parliamentarian of the PLP.
“The statement is loose with the truth.
“Our educated guess and suspicion is that these allegations in the writ, as far as it concerns the conduct of PLP members, are well worn and discredited untruths about the party and its members.”
The PLP chairman added that had the writ been filed in Bahamian courts, the information about anyone connected to the PLP would have been struck out as an “abuse of process and irrelevant”.