Categorized | National News

Minister Denies Spying

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage found himself defending his reputation yesterday after he was accused of lying about a number of issues including a government spy agency and the fabrication of crime statistics.

During his contribution in the House of Assembly (HOA) yesterday, the minister said he had to say something about the matter as people are “telling lies” on him in the public arena.

The minister was mainly speaking of claims made by Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner at an FNM rally the night before, who said that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) seemed to be involved in domestic spying with no legal standing.

Dr. Nottage called her statement an “irresponsible assertion” and said it was done in a move to get people to attend “a rally about nothing.”

“Why on earth would they make such a false assertion,” he asked.

“I do know what is going on in the Ministry of National Security. There is no doubt about that. They talked about the minister of national security. There’s only one of them and that’s me.”

Mrs. Butler-Turner then stood to her feet on a point of order and again said that the NIA operation is obviously operating without legal parameters.

“The record would reflect that during the budget communication 2013/2014 the question was asked of the minister of national security about this agency which was referred to in the budget,” she said.

“He [Dr. Nottage] then answered that this agency is housed in a building on Nassau Street. We [the FNM] asked about the legislation to support such an agency. But to this day we have yet to see that legislation. He said to us, and the record would reflect this, that one Butch Scavella is the head of this NIA. It has now come to the attention of this side that this entity is operating, obviously without legal perimeters because we [parliament] has not done any legislation on it.”

She added that Bahamians should be alarmed at what is going on surrounding the agency.

Dr. Nottage also hit back at Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis who implied the Ministry of National Security was fabricating crime stats so they would reflect that crime is down.

“I take my job very, very seriously, and I always try to get things right,” he said.

He said when he gave his crime stats during the government’s two-year anniversary press conference he was implying that there is one less murder this year than at this same point last year.

“Additionally, crime was down for attempted rape, unnatural sexual intercourse, robbery, armed robbery, house breaking, shop breaking, stealing and stealing from a vehicle,” he said.

“Those are the categories that are always up in our statistics. This implication again, was that I was somehow telling a lie.”

He said he is one of those who believe The Bahamas is one of the greatest little countries in the world and will continue to prove that.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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