Categorized | National News

Smith Says, “Follow the Money”

Attorney Fred Smith, QC, wants the public to demand how much money the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration spent in the Supreme Court defending the appeal of the parliamentary privilege case surrounding former Marathon Member of Parliament Jerome Fitzgerald.

In a statement yesterday, Smith said this is “unconstitutional rape of our privacy” and “taxpayers  should ask the government to ‘follow the money’ just like Fitzgerald wanted to do against Save the Bays in Parliament.”

According to Smith, the government had more than 15 lawyers on this appeal who were from the United Kingdom, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

“The PLP government had one U.K. QC and a junior from London as well as two London solicitors.  They also had Dr. Lloyd Barnett.  Then they had five lawyers from the attorney general’s office as well as the legal consultant.  Then they had Wayne Munroe, QC, and junior acting for the speaker of the house and they had a team of lawyers in the background with them.” Smith explained.

In addition, with a broke treasury, Smith asked why should the government continue to appeal and spend the taxpayers’ money to defend Fitzgerald’s abuse of power.

Earlier this week the government made the decision to drop the Supreme Court ruling on parliamentary privilege in the House of Assembly concerning Fitzgerald.

Smith announced the government’s decision and said a notice of discontinuance has already been filed and a formal position is expected at a status hearing scheduled for June 26.

The former government held that Fitzgerald’s statements in Parliament were protected from legal liability because of constitutional provision, parliamentary privilege and the Powers and Privileges Act.

However, Smith said if Fitzgerald wants to continue the appeal at his own cost and not at the taxpayers’ costs, he is perfectly entitled to do so.


“Fitzgerald cost the taxpayer all the litigation costs plus the $150,000 in damages,” Smith explained.


“In addition, when the $150,000 is paid by the government, the government can sue Fitzgerald to pay the treasury back the $150,000 under the new Caribbean Court of Justice ruling from Belize that says ministers who exceed their powers and authority are guilty of malfeasance.”

On Monday, Senator Fred Mitchell criticized the government’s decision to drop the appeal on parliamentary privilege calling it “stupid” and “perverse.”

“The judgment is wrong and full of errors and should be set aside and should not stand,” Mitchell said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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