PM denies impropriety in Nygard affair
Published: Mar 14, 2016
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced in the House of Assembly today that he has ordered a police investigation into the matters connected to an alleged murder plot targeting several members of the Save the Bays group and related allegations.
The prime minister stressed that he has not used his office to extend favors to Peter Nygard, a wealthy and controversial permanent resident at the center of the firestorm.
Christie said there has been no impropriety "on my behalf and I have no reason to believe any of my colleagues have committed any impropriety either".
Such an investigation is already gathering pace, the prime minister said.
"I fully support this investigation as do all of my colleagues in the government," he said.
He called on the opposition to cooperate in such an investigation as well.
"This matter may involve criminal activity and it may involve criminal activity sourcing from that side," said the prime minister, referring to the official opposition. "That is why I asked them to cooperate."
Christie said it is important that the opposition provide assurances that none of its members have instigated, facilitated or otherwise been complicit in any criminal activity in relation to any aspect of this matter.
Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis asked a series of questions on the floor of the House.
Minnis called on Christie to give a full accounting of his personal involvement in this affair, if any.
All of this stems from a writ and a voluminous filing of documents connected to the alleged plot by Nygard to murder his billionaire neighbor Louis Bacon and members of Save the Bays.
The allegations were also made against attorney Keod Smith. Smith on Friday strongly denied those allegations.
Accompanying the filings are purported video recordings of meetings between Nygard and two "gang members", who speak of links with Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.
Davis has also denied involvement in any impropriety.
In those tapes, Nygard speaks disparagingly about Christie and says he (Nygard) could win the election.
Nygard also characterizes himself as a major financier of the PLP and suggests that certain promises were made to him.
He has long been seeking a Crown land lease.
Minnis insisted "endemic" corruption plagues The Bahamas, but the prime minister denied the suggestion that the country has become a nation for sale.
Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said he and his colleagues will not sit back and allow anyone to try to implicate them in wrongdoing.
“If you touch one, you touch all,” he said, outlining what he suggests was impropriety and corruption under the Ingraham administration.
Dr. Andre Rollins, the shadow minister for national security, cried shame on Christie over the whole affair.
Rollins also said Fitzgerald should be the last individual to speak to propriety.
Fitzgerald and several of his ministerial colleagues appeared in a video that surfaced in 2013 meeting with Nygard at Nygard Cay.
The murder plot saga has attracted widespread international media attention and has fueled national debate over Nygard’s relationship with the prime minister and other senior government officials.
The FNM has said Nygard is unfit to be in The Bahamas.