Prime Minister Perry Christie has already promised to release the findings of an investigation into allegations of abuse at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, but Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash said based on the prime minister’s record, he has no interest in public disclosure.
The Bahamas has been the subject of intense scrutiny ever since allegations surfaced that Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBPF) officers at the Detention Centre abused Cuban detainees.
The FNM claims the Cuban detainees were so severely abused that some of them had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.
On Monday, the prime minister said he has never “had a difficulty about publishing reports” but would have to first speak with his cabinet colleagues.
Mr. Cash said in a press release that Mr. Christie’s record reflects that, “he simply does not deliver on his idle promises because he never intends to do so at the time he makes them.”
“Given his equivocation, his answer should be interpreted as follows, ‘If the stars are aligned and the earth’s gravitational pull is just right and if he gets up on the right side of the bed, then maybe, just maybe he will release the report’,” he said.
“Anyone who thinks our skepticism is unwarranted simply needs to check the prime minister’s record. As a prime minister who is beholden to suspicious special interests, he is not interested in or concerned about public disclosure and we think he believes that his subjects are not entitled to such information.”
In fact, Mr. Cash said the country got its first glimpse of “stonewalling” very early on.
“Shortly after the PLP won the 2002 General Elections reports surfaced that that party was financed heavily by an [Iranian] banker who paid for special favours from the government,” Mr. Cash added.
“[Mohammed] Harajchi paid big money and the word leaked. Christie promised a full investigation. He never delivered on that promise. This was followed by five years of idle talk and broken promises.”
According to Mr. Cash, another example of the government’s “stonewalling” is the fact that Mr. Christie and his Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis were in Opposition and both of them were reportedly on the payroll of the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC).
At the height of the controversy Mr. Christie admitted that he was a consultant for the company.
“They were highly paid lobbyists,” the FNM chairman charged. “The prime minister told us that this arrangement ended just as it came under heavy scrutiny during the election. How convenient.”
Mr. Cash said there are numerous incidents he can harp on to prove that the Christie administration has not lived up to its word and promising to release the findings of that report is just another pie in the sky dream for Bahamians.