Categorized | National News

“Baha Mar Deal Public, Not Sealed,” Says Adderley

Retired Supreme Court Justice K. Neville Adderley revealed yesterday that Baha Mar’s proceedings and judgment were in public and not sealed, which makes former Chief Justice Dame Joan Sawyer incorrect on the resort’s deal.

Adderley explained that the statement made by Sawyer that the judgment made in the Baha Mar sale case heard on August 22, 2016 had been sealed, is incorrect.

“I feel compelled to correct what appears to be a misinterpretation and incorrect statements relating to the judgment of our Supreme Court made on September 27, 2016,” he said.

Adderley, who expressed concern about the alleged “secret deals” surrounding Baha Mar’s transaction, said he is “deeply troubled by the rampant reckless attempt to misconstrue the facts in an attempt to manipulate public opinion – this is not only damaging to our national discourse, but hurtful to the rule of law and our country’s reputation.”

“It is true that the sealing of judgments can be a breach of the Constitution (Article 20(9)), because the constitution requires what is called “open justice”, that is, that court proceedings and judgments should be in public. But this is not what happened in this Baha Mar case – no judgment was ever sealed. I can only assume that if, in fact, Dame Joan made that statement it was an innocent mistake on her part,” Adderley explained.

“Once again, the facts are in the public for all to see. The joint receivers and managers on behalf of the China Import Export Bank had applied to the court last August for permission to release the assets of the Baha Mar Companies held as security under their debenture which had reached over $3 billion, and to transfer them to a special purpose vehicle to complete the resort in preparation for selling it to the ultimate buyer.

Adderley noted that Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE), Baha Mar’s intended buyer, have executed a legally binding contract to that effect.

He added that in support of their application, the joint receivers and managers had to file a supporting affidavit and documents.

“Mr. Brian Simms, QC, made the application, as he has several times made to me when I was a Supreme Court judge, on behalf of China Import Export Bank to seal the affidavit and supporting documents,” Adderley said.

“The application was not made by the government, nor was it made by any of the other parties present which included representation by the joint liquidators of Baha Mar.

“The judge exercised his discretion to seal the documents – an action which the judge pointed out is not unusual in private, commercial transactions like Baha Mar.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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