Categorized | National News

Minister Declares War On Save The Bays

After the Save the Bays Group recently slapped Parliamentarians with a number of lawsuits, Foreign Affairs Minister and Fox Hill Member of Parliament Fred Mitchell yesterday declared war against the environmental group.

In the House of Assembly, Minister Mitchell voiced strong opposition to an injunction imposed last month by Justice Indra Charles prohibiting parliamentarians from speaking on issues surrounding STB and its affiliates.

Earlier this year, Mr. Mitchell suggested that STB and its affiliates are operating with the purpose of destabilizing the government, while Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald in the House of Assembly, read emails incriminating the group.

The Fox Hill MP was off the island when the legal action took place, so speaking on a matter of privilege, Mr. Mitchell yesterday, made it known that he does not in any way consider himself bound or stifled.

He added that the move by the Supreme Court was “foolish and manifestly wrong”, adding that anything said or spoken in parliament has an absolute protection in the law.

“Article 53 (1) reads without prejudice to the generality of article 52 (1) of this constitution and subject to the provisions of paragraph two of this article. Parliament may by law determine the privileges, immunities and powers of the Senate and the House of Assembly and the members thereof,” said Mr. Mitchell.

“And it says no civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any senator or member, the words spoken before or written in a report to the Senate or the House respectively or committee or by any reason of any matter or thing so brought by him by petition, bill, motion or otherwise,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mitchell said he was at a loss as to what the Supreme Court would do if in fact he or Mr. Fitzgerald had broken the injunction.

“What is there for a court to consider in this matter,” he asked.

“I had the advantage of conferring with and reading this statement of the MP for Marathon, my honourable friend, and I wish to quote from his statement delivered in this chamber in May.

“No one can deter this member when it comes to speaking freely on behalf of my constituents or when my privilege has been assaulted. I have the freedom of speech generally and specifically there is immunity which attaches both on the criminal and civil side for anything for which I or another member says in here.”

Additionally, Mr. Mitchell not calling a name specifically, alluded to a series of lawsuits filed against him by a leading member of STB, reiterating that all of this action calls for a war.

Mr. Mitchell said he will fight with all his being, and in the meantime, assures his constituents that he will not “blink or stutter” while serving them to the best of his ability.








Written by Jones Bahamas

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