Categorized | National News

Police Told ‘Speak Out Against Abuse’

Philip Davis - Top PhotoOpposition Leader Philip Davis encouraged police officers to speak out against the abuse of state power as the government has given the Royal Bahamas Police Force directives to investigate former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) members of parliament.

Davis encouraged police officers to speak out yesterday during the PLP’s Yamacraw Branch meeting where he spoke about the Free National Movement government’s recent actions toward the PLP.

Last week, former PLP Member of Parliament and Senator Frank Smith was arrested and charged with extortion and bribery.  He was later released on $50,000 bail.

Davis expressed that he was shocked to discover an alert from the Anti-Corruption Branch announcing the time of Smith’s arraignment which included an invitation for media coverage.

“The press, even before the former senator’s lawyer knew, knew the time he was to appear in court,” Davis said.  “The lawyer didn’t know that he was going to be charged because something was supposed to have happened that day that they cancelled.”

He indicated that he agreed with Smith’s lawyer Damien Gomez who said the Minnis administration’s directives to the Royal Bahamas Police Force to pursue corruptive cases before legislation is passed to effectively establish an independent Anti-Corruption Agency has exposed the system to abuse, bias and political interference from the governing party.

“Gomez also quoted an anonymous senior source in Royal Bahamas Police Force who said government has given specific directives to the police to go after certain investigations,” Davis explained, adding that there are police officers who said they are not the ones pursing the investigations and it is the government.

“As more police officers begin to speak out against this rank abuse of power, we encourage more of them to do so.”

The FNM’s actions against former PLP MPs have nothing to do with “weeding out corruption in government.”

Instead, Davis said the FNM’s actions have “everything to do with political persecution and intimidation.”

He called on PLPs to be strong and stand on their party’s principle as the government’s political exercise is designed to demonize, demoralize and weaken the PLP.

“We must speak out against this nefarious and dangerous practice in the strongest terms,” Davis said.

He explained that the recent arrests of former PLP MPs were insulting and akin to “slave shaming.”

The opposition leader also pointed out that more troubling questions are coming to fore as the criteria of the United Nations Convention on Corruption calls for the establishment of specialized independent Anti-Corruption agencies to conduct such probes.

“This is specifically to avoid such disgraceful abuse of state power through political contamination,” Davis said.

“These protocols were obviously ignored by the FNM government in their rush to judgment and to let out political vengeance against PLP personalities.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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