Categorized | National News

Mitchell Hopes Inquiry Shames Detractors

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Fred Mitchell said he hopes the outcome of the Cuban abuse inquiry brings “shame to all detractors inside and outside of The Bahamas.”

National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said Tuesday that Royal Bahamas Defence Force officials have informed that they have finally completed their investigations into those widespread allegations and now, in-house proceedings similar to a trial before a Magistrates Court will have to be held.

“These proceedings are being conducted in accordance with the legal rules prescribed under the Defence Act and Regulations, which approximate a trial before a Magistrates Court,” Dr. Nottage said at the time.

“As such, we will refrain from making any comments concerning the proceedings while they are under consideration.”

In responding to the report, Mr. Mitchell said he welcomes the opportunity for the detention centre to be investigated.

“My only comment has to do with the investigation of the management of the detention centre which falls under my portfolio,” he said.

“We welcome that and I think the people are qualified for the task and look forward to full cooperation. I think this will benefit the Bahamian people and I think it directly sits as an example of rationality in the face of all the nonsense that people have been directing toward us from inside and outside the country.”

(Ret.) Justice Emmanuel Osadebay, Rev. Williams Higgs and former Police Superintendent Douglas Hanna have all agreed to serve on a committee to inquire into the administration of the detention centre and to make recommendations for its efficient administration and management

Mr. Mitchell, who spoke to The Bahama Journal from New York, said migration issues will be discussed at the United Nations General Assembly.

“I would suspect that the prime minister will raise migration matters,” the foreign affairs minister said.

“There are meetings scheduled with specialised agencies of the UN to talk about these issues and what is clear is that this being driven by policies to the north of us. People have the impression that you come to The Bahamas which is a ticket into the United States and we are not going to be part of that kind of illegal activity. People who breach our laws will go back to their country so the people in Florida can protest all they want but that’s the way it’s going to be.”

When asked how many officers are implicated in this matter, Dr. Nottage declined to comment.

Minister Mitchell said he had all rights to.

“The government says there is no comment,” he said.

“All you have to do is read the Defence Force Act and you will be able to see how the procedure works and that’s it. That is the law and the law will be followed, so no more comments are needed until after the relevant inquiries are done.”

Last month, a report alleging to be the official file, supposedly documenting exactly what happened at the Carmichael Road site noted that five Defence Force officers were culpable in the matter and even admitted to being involved in beating Cuban detainees.

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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