Dames: No witch hunt, police act on evidence

photo

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

MINISTER of Health Dr Duane Sands suggested yesterday additional bombshell arrests may be on the horizon once police are able to gather evidence on the myriad of allegations brought to officials.

“I think the public will find that there will be a number of individuals who will be brought before the courts if the information that has been brought to us, in the opinion and findings of the commissioner of police, prove to warrant pressing charges,” Dr Sands told The Tribune.

Some senior members in the Royal Bahamas Police Force have also said “stay tuned” as more bombshells are expected.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister Marvin Dames dismissed assertions from the PLP of a government-led witch hunt against members of the former Christie administration. Mr Dames said the claims are a distraction and he won’t pay attention to them.

“Political witch hunt? I don’t wish to get into those types of conversations,” he said yesterday.

His comment came not long after Official Opposition leader Philip “Brave” Davis released an audio of himself criticising the context in which the new administration is seeking to hold officials of the previous administration criminally liable, one that follows pronouncements from the FNM on the campaign trail in which Bahamians were encouraged to expect “corrupt” politicians to be held accountable before the courts.

The PLP, which is seeking to recover from its historic general election loss in May and has been conducting assessments concerning this, is now devoting some of its attention toward warding off what could be a number of serious legal challenges. The Tribune understands Mr Davis, the PLP’s leader, may call a special emergency council meeting next week to brainstorm and discuss ways of dealing with the matters. Meanwhile, the PLP is assembling a legal team.

Former State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez, a member of that team, said yesterday: “We regard this essentially as political posturing and a witch hunt. We’re all committed. We have a team of lawyers to help and then there are going to be specific people addressing the cases.”

For his part, Mr Dames said: “We said it all along on the campaign trail that part of our government’s mandate was to deal decisively and aggressively with corruption throughout the country and this should not come as a surprise to anyone. We committed to it; our prime minister committed to it and we determined to use those agencies of government with the responsibility for investigating crimes and in this case, we’re referring to crimes where there are anti-corruption related matters and we will allow the police to do their jobs unimpeded. We will continue to press on.

“Nothing has changed,” Mr Dames said about concerns of a witch hunt. “When a matter is opened or is being investigated by the police force, the police has a responsibility to look for evidence and wherever they find evidence then they should do what comes next, which is bringing charges against those that may be implicated and you letting the courts take over from there.

“We’re all about doing the job of the people,” he said. “We committed that while on the campaign trail; we’re determined. We will not be deterred and we will continue to press on. “This is what the people expect and this is what good governance ought to be about. Wherever it is found that public officials, while in office, are committing crimes, then they ought to be held responsible no matter where they sit or who they are connected to. That doesn’t come before us. It ought not come before us. If we could go on the streets and pick up the young kid on the block for a joint and charge him without any public fanfare, why can’t we do it anywhere else? I’m perplexed by the fact that people feel this is something that cannot happen. There are laws on the books and whenever there are laws on the books those responsible for carrying out the laws ought to do their jobs. It’s as simple as that.”

Mr Dames revealed that the administration considered establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate matters of abuse in public office and other possible crimes. However, he said, he believes such action would have ultimately proved fruitless since it would not hold officials accountable.

“There were a lot of people who were suggesting different pathways to investigating stuff like (corruption),” he said. “One was a Commission of Inquiry. I’m not a big fan of commissions of inquiries because I personally think they are a waste of money. They produce good sideshows, but that’s the most. At the end of the day what do you have, a lot of interesting stories that will give you guys a bunch of news and headlines, but at the end of the day there’s no accountability. We said as a government that we have laws on the books that can address issues where public figures go awry of the law. We suggested and recommended that the police be allowed do their work. Very shortly though we will be coming with legislation that will cause an autonomous anti-corruption agency to be established. While we wait the introduction of such a Bill, we felt strongly that we have laws that could deal with these issues in the interim.”

Comments

birdiestrachan says...

One thing for sure these FNM fellows can tell some lies. It is my hope that people will not be
arrested just to shame them.. I do not understand why they are holding Mr: Dorsette so long.
The Bahamas is becoming very scary.

Posted 14 July 2017, 1:38 p.m. Suggest removal

Naughtydread says...

Birdie there is this thing called "the law" I know you brain dead PLP don't think that "the law" applies to your party but unfortunately your party is no longer leading our country. So when you break "the law" you are charged in a court of law and must suffer the consequences.

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:13 p.m. Suggest removal

Sickened says...

Becoming scary? Bahamians have been terrified for the last 5 years.

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:57 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

Birdie it's so funny how you switch things up! You were saying it was all talk, and no action, in terms of prosecuting/charging Ministers. You were basically encouraging/daring them to charge the PLP's. NOW you are calling it 'lies?' Come on man!! You can't be serious. Yall PLP are some disgusting, trashy, uneducated people, to put it kindly. I regularly wish I didn't have to read your comments supporting Bahamian corruption regularly.

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:29 p.m. Suggest removal

realfreethinker says...

go away birdie carry your cut

Posted 14 July 2017, 10:48 p.m. Suggest removal

SP says...

Witch hunt? Why would Damian Gomez, need to be part of "a team of lawyers to help" if they Pillage Loot Plunder pirates aren't guilty of anything?

Posted 14 July 2017, 1:41 p.m. Suggest removal

We_doomed_242 says...

LOCK EVERY LAST ONE UP. It's sad to say that if a youth now a days was to steal something because of poverty or lack of funds he would go before the courts and most likely be incarcerated but when the politicians steal even bigger they expect a slap on the wrist? I would think the politicians would have been the voice of the people and a leading example to the younger ones buncha fuqqn theives

Posted 14 July 2017, 1:46 p.m. Suggest removal

Well_mudda_take_sic says...

The Commissioner of Police and Marvin Dames need to explain to us why Jonathan Ash has not yet been charged with bribery of a government official, namely Kenred Dorsett. The accepting of bribery payments and other charges made against Kenred Dorsett will eventually be dropped or dismissed by the courts if Jonathan Ash is not charged with the making of the bribery payments. You can't get one without the other!

Posted 14 July 2017, 1:48 p.m. Suggest removal

B_I_D___ says...

I'm thinking Ash is singing like a canary just now...they are going to make sure they have all the fish first...

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:14 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

Relax yourself you damn PLP's. They will soon charge Jonathan Ash as well, but before they do that they need to get all the information they can from him. I know everytime the FNM does something they promised you guys try to spin it. You guys kept saying they were all talk, and that no PLP Minister's will be charged. Well you were WRONG. SHUT YOUR MOUTH and sit small.

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:31 p.m. Suggest removal

birdiestrachan says...

According to his lawyer the brilliant Wayne Monroe they are charging Mr: Dorsett with laws
that do not even exist. What do they call that Witch hunt or not? In view of this Mr: Gomez
and others have to do something very fast because they do not know what will happen next.

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:08 p.m. Suggest removal

Naughtydread says...

"the brilliant" Wayne Monroe, you mean the "Walk Fast and Kiss my Ass" Monroe, such wise words from a "brilliant" mind. Birdie you are the biggest ass kisser in the Bahamas. I hope these scumbags giving you something on the side or else you should just fall asleep in the garage with your car running.

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:16 p.m. Suggest removal

Naughtydread says...

The extortion charges were brought contrary to Section 453 (1) of the Penal Code, Chapter 84 while the bribery charges were brought under Section 3(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Act Chapter 88.

I know you can't read well but try looking those "laws that do not exist" up

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:18 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

Wayne Munroe is crooked ass PLP. Possible the most educated of the bunch, but non the less, crooked. Birdie carry your ass! Do some research before you type. These are laws that were broken, and you personally have no idea what evidence they have against Kendrick Dorsett. I highly doubt they will go arresting a former minister without hard evidence. If you believe otherwise, your even slower than I thought.

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:35 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrades! Disturbing political revelation when a red shirt whose ministerial portfolio is looking after the nation's health - steps forward to MAKE IT OFFICAL suggesing additional bombshell arrests may be on the horizon once police are able to gather evidence on the myriad of allegations brought to officials. How is it Bahamaland's justice rests in hands da minister of health? Did PM Minnis have a falling-out with AG Carl? Buckle up your seatbelts My Dear Comrades, we is in for a long red shirts summer parading PLP's down Bank Lane - And, when they run out PLP's to prosecute they will turn on some their own former Red Shirts MP's, Cabinet Ministers, Senators and political Appointees....And, let's not leave out BOB and NIB.

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:31 p.m. Suggest removal

birdiestrachan says...

Moving right along smartly . There is no evidence or wrong doing at BAIC they arrested
Mr Smith for removing his own TV. It is said they came with guns drawn to the BAIC
office . Witch hunt??

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:32 p.m. Suggest removal

realfreethinker says...

go away

Posted 14 July 2017, 11:03 p.m. Suggest removal

birdiestrachan says...

They brought the press with them to arrest Mr: Smith what is that all ??. I am sure the
mean spirited FNMs know.

Posted 14 July 2017, 2:47 p.m. Suggest removal

Sickened says...

Let's appoint a police commissioner who is not part of a 'secret society' so that ALL Bahamians can be investigated.

Posted 14 July 2017, 3:01 p.m. Suggest removal

Porcupine says...

If you can do the crime, be prepared to do the time.
Investigate every last PLP MP.
With a fine toothed comb.
This money did not just disappear.
It was stolen.

Posted 14 July 2017, 3:19 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

Are Marvin Dames, Carl Bethel and Hubert Minnis members of a Lodge Hall???????? ............... If the answer is "No", then there is a good chance that these investigations will yield results ......... If the answer is "Yes", well we can call this present "house cleaning" a mere mock game.

Posted 14 July 2017, 3:34 p.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

If there are corrupt witches out there, round' em up! This Bahama corruption runs deep.

Posted 14 July 2017, 4:23 p.m. Suggest removal

Future says...

Does it run deeper?
Take note of which articles have had their commenting disabled

Posted 14 July 2017, 4:26 p.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

Ya see that hey?

Posted 15 July 2017, 1:39 p.m. Suggest removal

birdiestrachan says...

When they come with guns and the press and keep persons in jail overnight for removing their own
property it does not speak well of any Government.

Posted 14 July 2017, 4:28 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

Birdie shut your mouth your PLP trash.

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:37 p.m. Suggest removal

realfreethinker says...

go away birdie

Posted 14 July 2017, 10:46 p.m. Suggest removal

John says...

If you go to sleep watching CNN or even Fon News you would expect to wake up the next morning hearing Trump has been impeached because of the revelations that are coming out about his relations with the Russians before the Elections. But fortunately or unfortunately, the people who don't want Trump to be president and want him impeached are the same ones who don't want Hillary Clinton to be president . So it's like having a coin with two sides the same. But for certain Obamacare being repealed and replaced is becoming more difficult to the point where Trump is suggesting it be repealed and replaced later... just to fulfill his election promise. Trump's Great Wall of Mexico also seems to become more uncertain day after day not only because of the high price tag but because it was not a good idea in the first place. And now even immigration reform is hitting brick walls after judges reveal that Trump cannot bar immediate and extended family members of US residents from entering the country. So while Trump seemed to have hit the ground running and was appearing to accomplish a lot in his first 100 days, he seem to have hit a lot of loose sand recently. And despite the engines revving up and blowing the smoke of anticipation, Trump doesn't seem to be doing much more than spinning tires.

Posted 14 July 2017, 4:51 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

Soooooooo, who is in charge of the Police Force now??????? .......... Will Greenslade face any penalty for dragging his feet on investigations into BAMSI fire & loans, Stellar Waste LOI, Bobo & Toogie murder plot, Fitzgerald emails, VAlfred Gray's judicial interference, Road Traffic money, Post Office money, BOB default loans etc ........... He was complicit in Perry's corruption

Posted 14 July 2017, 6:34 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrades! Ding dong when Dr. Duane took his oath as BahamaCARE minister - somehow he drove down the driveway from Mount Fitzwilliam - thinking he had just been sworn-in as attorney general and da people's security minister? Him got's dual 'imaginary' ministerial status?

Posted 14 July 2017, 7:04 p.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

Where IS the Attorney General? He's gone all quiet. Perhaps that's a good thing!

Posted 15 July 2017, 1:42 p.m. Suggest removal

TigerB says...

Just a point to make here. The police can hold anyone for not more than 48 hours on suspicion. Once that time has expired they have to be released or charge the individual. They can pick them up from anywhere and used any means necessary to bring them in or suspicion. In the case of Smith at BAIC they found not evidence so they released them. This Dorsette matter he was charge. When you do hip in public office you should be made to pay the price. We regular people if we did it we would be arrested, they not different. If Brave want to call charging an individual for a crime a witch hunt then das he fault.Nail em all!!!

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:01 p.m. Suggest removal

Baha10 says...

Dorsett is a relatively "small" Fish and I just hope he has not become the Sacrifical Lamb in a slowly unfolding Game of Politcal Chess by "much bigger" Fish on either side of the aisle.

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:18 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

I think this is just the beginning. It seemed as if Glenna Hanna was backpeddaling and speaking softly on NB12 news yesterday. It gave me the sense that she is worried... She is normally extremely defensive and aggressive. She was almost siding with the investigation, saying that she just hope these investigations are not politically motivated.

Posted 14 July 2017, 9:41 p.m. Suggest removal

Jetflt says...

Get lost Birdie........what is about breaking the law and facing consequences that you don't seem to understand?? I realize it's a novel concept for you and others like you to grasp, but in most law abiding countries where politicians and public servants are corrupt, they face jail time. So full speed ahead.........lock every last one up!

Posted 14 July 2017, 11:30 p.m. Suggest removal

BMW says...

Just the tip of the iceberg! I am sure a lot of them are worried and I hope they wipe them out. Our country has been raped by the corrupt plp.

Posted 15 July 2017, 7:10 a.m. Suggest removal

Alex_Charles says...

Birdie is a c*** holster for the PLP.

Posted 15 July 2017, 8:18 a.m. Suggest removal

Stapedius says...

Too much corruption in the country in general. We have deep rooted corruption within our civil service, police and defense forces. This is a systemic problem that begins from the top. When the lady behind the desk in a government office is asking for $50 tip to fast track your documents or license etc we don't view this as corruption but that is exactly what it is. He or she pockets that money and the processing of government services gets clogged up simply because someone decided that they will create a lil side business of government services. Now I'm all for speedy, efficient government services that should have a premium surcharge. However, the money needs to come to the government, not the worker who thinks he's entitled to it. Or how about seeing police patrolling stop to a party and grab a few beers and a plate of food. These are the kind of things we live with daily. Too many of us feel entitled to certain benefits and privileges.

Posted 15 July 2017, 9:59 a.m. Suggest removal

MaLambee says...

There's just too much insulting going on here. Let the chips fall where they may... I have heard FNM called Plp stupid vice versa..... Its just too bad that when the Plp were in power they did not do research on some of those Fnm's ....many of them would have been in jail today. As for the FNm's doing due diligence, like I said, let the chips fall where they may... too many of our politicians are power hungry greedy thieves... I love my country. Sorry about the mistakes...I am on the road... but ya'll get my drift

Posted 15 July 2017, 12:57 p.m. Suggest removal

MassExodus says...

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Posted 15 July 2017, 4:10 p.m.

MaLambee says...

Birdie may very well be a PLP but she does make sense sometimes... just like some of you!! And no I dont know Birdie, but I am a bahamian and a die hard nothing! country first

Posted 15 July 2017, 6:17 p.m. Suggest removal

Giordano says...

These things regarding witch hunt should continue all the way until the last consequences cause the Bahamian Society deserves some decency.Everybody should encourage Dr. Minnis to go further without any stop,let's test the waters and break the ice with this long stationary complice of nearly entire Society if him as a Prime Minister fails to act ,he must be held accountable and loose legitimacy even far before he complete the first year in power. What is happening is very exciting and commendable to bring back the lostt right track of moral and civility. Corruption must be extirpated from The Bahamas at any cost or we will not have a country where dignity, respect and high standards of quality reside as paramount. These events are holding a lot of expectations and the ousted members of PLP gov.,many of them ,the majority,can leave the hat on and pay back what they stole from their own people.

Posted 16 July 2017, 2:08 a.m. Suggest removal

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