Friday, September 14, 2018
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has instructed Royal Bahamas Police Force Commissioner Anthony Ferguson to use all resources available, including marines to track Inspector Carlis Blatch’s killer, even to the “bounds of hell,” to ensure justice is done.
Declaring he “hates” criminals and that his views on how they should be treated are “extreme,” Dr Minnis alluded to how nations like Saudi Arabia enforce draconian practices to deal with crime and murderers, telling reporters while he does not support their methods, “they may be on the right track sometimes.”
Saudi Arabia, according to the website Death Penalty Worldwide, has carried out an estimated 66 executions as of September 5. The site goes on to report beheading as probably the most common form of execution in Saudi Arabia. Stoning is also a method used to punish people who are convicted of committing acts like adultery.
While Dr Minnis acknowledged he was bound by the confines of Bahamian law, which does not allow this kind of punishment, he said should he be allowed to work outside of the law, the country would see a changed man.
The prime minister was asked yesterday to comment on the murder of Insp Blatch, aide-de-camp to Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, who was shot in the head on Wednesday afternoon while his daughter was in the same car. Insp Blatch was waiting outside of H O Nash Jr High School for his son at the time. He died of his injuries at Princess Margaret Hospital a short time later. Police suspect the incident was an attempted armed robbery.
The killer, up to press time, was said to still be at large. In the meantime, Dr Minnis said the killer will not be allowed to “rest” in this country, adding “we will not allow him to have offspring, which may possibly be like him.”
Whenever he is arrested, the Killarney MP said he hopes the court deals with this matter quickly and denies bail.
“The whole country is saddened with what has happened,” Dr Minnis told reporters as he extended condolences to the family, adding he planned to speak to relatives personally during a visit to their home.
“You know he worked closely with the governor general and he is a gentleman whom not only I worked with, but every morning at 5 o’clock he’s on the (Cable Beach) strip, so we would pass each other (and) hail each other every morning.
“But what is even more hateful and distressing is that he was murdered in the presence of his 13-year-old child. What that shows is that murderer has no respect for life, has no respect for this society.
“I have spoken with the commissioner of police this morning and I told him that he must allow no obstacle (in pursuing) this killer and whatever is necessary he must use – his force, the assistance of the defence force and whatever is available to track him, even if he goes to the bounds of hell, he must be tracked and brought to justice.
“We must not allow him to continue in this society as is because obviously he has no respect for life, he has no respect for society when he can do something like that in the front of a child.”
He continued: “When it comes to things like murder, I am at the extreme end. When it comes to criminality, I am at the extreme end. What I would want to say I would want to do with murderers and criminals I can’t say, but what I can say is that countries like Saudi Arabia and those sometimes they may be on the right track, sometimes. I am not saying I support it. They may be on the right track sometimes, but this individual must be pursued and must be brought to justice and I would hope that the courts deal with it quickly so that there is no bail to give him the opportunity to do this thing again. So he will be pursued and he will be dealt with.”
Asked if Bahamians should be concerned with their safety, he said: “Nobody within the Bahamas should feel unsafe, regardless (of) the big, small, financial background, nobody. Everybody should feel safe.
“I am an individual, I drive around the place by myself on many occasions. I visit the inner cities and whatever because I feel safe. I feel comfortable and events like this may make others think twice and we don’t want to live in a society where individuals do not feel safe.
“This individual must be brought to justice and therefore the entire police force, defence force and whatever is necessary, I hope he is listening to me, whatever is necessary will bring him to justice. He will not rest in this Bahamas and we will not allow him to have offspring, which may possibly be like him.”
Asked about being a proponent of the death penalty, he said: “I am at the extreme right. Just leave it like that. I am the extreme right. I hate criminals, full stop. I do not tolerate (them).
“I must work within the frame work of the law, but if you allow me to work outside of the law and that is legal, believe me you’ll see a changed man,” he said in response to a question about what the country was doing to enforcing the death penalty.
Capital punishment by hanging is allowed under Bahamian law, however it has not been carried out since 2000.