Only days after the story surfaced in the international press, Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis on Wednesday responded to accusations that he acted inappropriately as a lawyer in dealing with a $10 million estate, and called the claims inaccurate and misleading.
The matter involves the estate of the late Franz Kohlrautz, a German, was living in The Bahamas and then married Kenia Batista Mir, a Cuban woman and moved to The Bahamas to live with him.
According to international reports, the widow has claimed that after Mr. Kohlrautz died, she was set to inherit an estate estimated at roughly $10 million, but she claims, that three-and-a-half years after his death she has only received about $70,000 in cash.
At the time legal documents show that the executor of Mr. Kohlrautz’s will, also the president of the company that bought the house, was Mr. Davis.
Mr. Davis was at the time an attorney in private practice.
In the release issued Wednesday the Deputy Prime Minister said he does not discuss private affairs and those of his friends publicly.
“The gross distortions and aspersions being fuelled by those who seek to make mischief cannot go unanswered,” he said. “I do not take attacks on my character and integrity lightly.”
“Ms. Batista Mir has been represented by several prominent and highly respected attorneys who have each reviewed all documents and transactions related to the administration of the estate and have been satisfied that I have acted properly and ethically at all times in the conduct of my duties as executor of the estate. No legal suit has ever been served on me with regards to this matter.”
According to international reports, Batista said she met Kohlrautz in 2005 when she was 25 and a waitress at El Chevere, a Havana club known for its salsa classes. He was 75 and taking lessons. Born in Germany, he made a fortune in mining and lived in Freeport, Bahamas.
She went to live with him in 2006 and they settled into his five-bedroom, six-bathroom home with a tennis court in the expensive Lucaya section. They had two Mercedes-Benz cars and a boat docked in the canal out back. They married in 2009.
The deputy prime minister admitted to being the executor of the will but said in the statement he can unequivocally state that he is not aware of any complaint against him to The Bahamas Bar Association with regards to this matter nor has he ever been notified of any complaints.
“It is unfortunate that those who wish to make mischief or obtain some
financial gain would distort events and contrive stories in pursuit of
their own sick, selfish and distasteful personal agendas.”
He said he will not be distracted as he serves his country.