Categorized | National News

Police Search FNM Chairman

Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash is taking legal action against the commissioner of police and the attorney general in the wake of what he claims was the unlawful search and seizure of his property from officers of the Central Detective Unit (CDU).

The Bahama Journal understands that it was around 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning that a police inspector accompanied by two sergeants from the Central Detective Unit (CDU) demanded entry into the chairman’s home after showing a “supposed search warrant.”

Mr. Cash’s attorney, FNM Senator Carl Bethel said that there is reason to doubt the legal efficacy of the document.

“First of all it was not served on Mr. Cash, he was not delivered a copy, he was not allowed to keep a copy, he was not even permitted to properly read and digest its contents,” he said.

“He was told that it was a search warrant authorising the seizure of files, documents, computers, cell phones in connection with investigations into matters related to the Bank of The Bahamas (BOB). There are some questions that arise from the document he saw and what he believed he saw on it which is part of the reason why we have made application to the Supreme Court seeking an early date for the hearing of Mr. Cash’s application for relief under article 21 of the Constitution which is the protection that every protection that every Bahamian citizen has against unlawful search or seizure of their private property or violation of their rights of privacy. The authorities have failed to perform their duty according to law.”

Over the past several months The Punch tabloid has been running a number stories alleging some wrongdoing on the part of the government as it relates to loans and other financial issues at the bank.

BOB officials earlier this year announced that they plan to take legal action against The Punch and its owner Ivan Johnson after what the bank called a “barrage of attacks” on the institution.

The bank said in a press release issued at the time that after two months of near silence following an “onslaught of damaging reports,” they have decided to strike back.

Since late 2013 the tabloid paper published a series of articles accusing the BOB of using political favouritism and political involvement in granting loans.

BOB Managing Director Paul McWeeney said in the release that these attacks are, for the most part, based on highly distorted and sensationalised information, and, in some cases are flat out lies.

On Thursday, Mr. Bethel added that his client has nothing to hide and is prepared to cooperate with any lawful inquires the police may have, he added that the action carried out by officers appears to be an act of intimidation.

“Almost it seems tactics were designed to intimidate and we hope and pray not designed, although it might appear to be, we hope and pray that it is not designed to intimidate and silence the voice of genuine inquiry, debate and opposition in our beloved country because that would be a very sad day in The Bahamas,” he said.

“Certainly Mr. Cash as a law abiding citizen would lawfully comply with his legal ethical moral duty to corporate in a lawful inquiry, so why is he being treated like a criminal? That is the way it appears.”

Mr Bethel and his client are currently awaiting an early date for a hearing.

Mr. Cash’s wife is reportedly an employee at the Bank of The Bahamas.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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