Categorized | National News

Cash Denies Witch Hunt

Former Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash said the actions being taken by the Minnis administration “are not politically motivated in the sense that the newly elected government is going after its political opponent.”

The former FNM chairman was referring to the recent arrests and charges brought against three members of the former Christie administration.

He suggested that the actions or non-actions of the government warranted such a move.

“The fact is the manner in which the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) conducted its affairs left a lot to be desired in the minds of Bahamians. They conducted a lot of their affairs in a way that suggested that in some respects things were untoward,” Mr. Cash told The Bahama Journal yesterday.

“The prevailing sentiment in the general election campaign was that to whatever degree things look improper the new government would have a mandate to look into those things that determine whether there were improprieties on the part of anyone in the PLP administration.

“The FNM won the election and it is only appropriate for them to follow through, not necessarily what they promised during the campaign, but more importantly what most reasonable people would believe that large numbers of voters were expecting from the voters. It is not a political witch hunt. It’s just that they are following through on what the people are demanding.”

A few days after the election, former BAIC Chairman and Deputy House Speaker Dion Smith was arrested in connection to a theft probe.

Mr. Smith along with eight others were suspected of stealing electronic equipment by way of employment.

However, police later found that there was no wrong doing by any of the nine individuals.

Earlier this month, former Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett was also arrested and hauled before the courts in on bribery and extortion charges.

He was subsequently granted $50,000 bail by the Supreme Court.

The most recent political figure to face similar charges was former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman and PLP Member of Parliament (MP) Frank Smith.

Mr. Smith who spent two nights in police custody on bribery and extortion charges was also released on $50,000 by the Supreme Court.

The manner of arrest and the handling of the former MPs as they were escorted to court in handcuffs, received much backlash from the Opposition and some members of the general public.

In contrast, Mr. Cash’s view is that the process being carried out so far is fair.

“They ought to be treated in a way that any other Bahamian brought before the courts ought to be treated. But even that goes to a certain extent. It is the good judgment, good sense and commonsense should always prevail,” the former FNM chairman charged.

Due to the fact that The Bahamas is a “highly political environment,” Mr. Cash is admonishing the government to be cautious.

“I submit that the government of the day really ought to be extremely diligent and vigilant in how it uses the authority dealing with the government agencies especially the police,” he said.

“That means that to whatever degree possible, we need to make sure everything is done in a fair and balanced way so as not to unnecessarily give people the impression that there is any possibility that people are being unjustifiably targeted and more importantly targeted because of the political party to which they belong.”

“There should be no rush to judgment. That means that all of the cases should be carefully considered and obviously presented to a court of law when the government and the police are able to make the most compelling and stronger cases.”

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell has called the recent anti-corruption arrests “slave shaming” against the PLP.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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