A New York judge on Monday denied a request by Peter Nygard’s attorneys that they not release 31 stolen video files. Mr. Nygard’s attorneys asked that these files not be turned over on the grounds that they were part of a “massive volume” of stolen files handed over to Louis Bacon just two days before the court-imposed process be completed.
Mr. Bacon received the stolen tapes from Stephen Feralio, Mr. Nygard’s former videographer. Mr. Bacon retained Mr. Feralio after he was fired by Mr. Nygard. Although his contract with Mr. Nygard required him to return all videos to his employer, Mr. Feralio agreed to sell them to Mr. Bacon.
In exchange for the videos and for Mr. Feralio’s testimony against Mr. Nygard, Mr. Bacon agreed, through two entities he owns, to pay Mr. Feralio’s legal fees and to indemnify him for stealing the tapes in a lawsuit brought against Mr. Feralio by Mr. Nygard.
A compensation agreement introduced to court also shows that Mr. Bacon agreed to compensate Mr. Feralio an undisclosed amount through “Security Agreements” to be negotiated in the future “in good faith” and to set aside a combined $10 million to assure that the payments, both disclosed and undisclosed are secure.
“Our understanding of this recently-produced hard drive is that it contains only videos that have already been produced over the last three months,” said Aaron Marks, Mr. Nygard’s U.S. attorney. “We asked that this drive be excluded from production because the videos are redundant and the work to re-review them is unnecessarily burdensome.”
All of the relevant videos have been produced through the process put in place by the court three months ago.
The far more significant ruling regarding video production occurred on December 3, when Judge Cote denied a request from Mr. Bacon and Save the Bays that the court stop the Nygard team for pulling back thousands of video files that Mr. Feralio had deemed responsive. The Nygard team had informed Mr. Feralio’s counsel they were non-responsive.
In letters to the judge, Mr. Bacon’s lawyers argued that the court needed to intervene because Nygard’s team was not producing all the responsive videos.
In her December 3 order, Judge Cote not only denied this request, but admonished Mr. Bacon’s attorneys, instructing them to bring disputes to Nygard’s counsel before bringing them to the court.
“This demonstrates that the court is satisfied with the way the production process is working despite complaints by Mr. Bacon’s attorneys,” Mr. Marks stated.
He continued, “Mr. Feralio’s allegations that his video tapes prove that Mr. Nygard’s interactions with Perry Christie Administration were improper are absurd. We have reviewed this footage and have found they show nothing of the kind. These videos show various meetings between Mr. Nygard and government officials, including the prime minister, taking tours of Nygard Cay and Nygard International’s world headquarters in New York. But none of the videos we have reviewed have any discussion of building a stem cell facility in exchange for permits to rebuild Nygard Cay, as our opposition has charged, and none of them discusses building a stem cell facility on Nygard Cay.”
“Nygard Cay has never been considered as a location for such a facility, contrary to the falsified minutes Mr. Bacon introduced in New York court,” Mr. Marks continued. “Nygard Cay is Mr. Nygard’s residence. Furthermore, these inaccurate minutes were leaked in violation of The Official Secrets Act.”
Mr. Marks said that it is no secret that Mr. Nygard supported the 2012 election campaign of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), just as Mr. Bacon contributes generously to the opposition Free National Movement (FNM) party.
As a resident of The Bahamas since the early 80s, Mr. Nygard believes it is his civic duty to engage in the political process and that it is hypocritical of Mr. Bacon to criticize him for doing so in light of his own political contributions.
“Mr. Bacon is trying to thwart reconstruction of Mr. Nygard’s home by stalling the judicial review process,” Mr. Marks said. “As long as these actions are under consideration, Mr. Nygard cannot rebuild. So, Mr. Bacon is trying to stall government consideration of Mr. Nygards’ permit applications until the next election, when Mr. Bacon believes his FNM party will take over the government and block the construction.”