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N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Govt to pay back road project losses Volume: 108 No.91WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND ASHOWER HIGH 82F LOW 72F By KHRISNA VIRGIL firstname.lastname@example.org S TARTING today, the government will go door-todoor asking those affected by the ongoing road works to detail their losses ahead of a massive repayment scheme,P rime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced last night. B usinesses on Baillou Hill Road, Market Street and Prince Charles Drive will be the first in the assessment. Speaking to FNM support ers, Mr Ingraham said t hrough this initiative, the government will compile information, including theb usinesses expenses, revenue, profits, accounts receivables and payables during the peri od 2007 to 2011. Businesses that are in operation as well as any thatm ay have closed temporarily as a result of the roadworkw ill be included in the survey. The results of the survey will help us determine how best we might lend economic Survey will assess cost to businesses TRY OUR DOUBLE M cFISH The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM FNM BACKS JOHNSON By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Repoter email@example.com THE Free National Movement is determined to continue with the nomina tion of Central and South Eleuthera candidate Howard Johnson despite a possible constitutional challenge, the Tribune has learned. According to well-placed sources on the FNM council, the party was concerned that Mr Johnson would not be eligible to sit in the House of Assembly on the grounds of C C H H E E E E T T A A H H S S T T I I E E S S E E R R I I E E S S SEESPORTSECTION FORREPORTANDPICTURES INSIDETODAY:YOURPULLOUTARTSSECTION By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org PLP Tall Pines candidate Leslie Miller has dismissed National Security Minister Tommy Turnquests lawsuit against him as foolishness but also spoke on possible counter legal action. In his suit, Mr Turnquest claims damages caused by slander and/or falsehood published, according to the Supreme Courts civil registry cause list. According to published media reports, the suit reportedly refers to a comment about domestic violence which was allegedly made by Mr Miller, earlier this month. Mr Miller denied the allegations and said the Minister is the one who initiated the exchange. I never called his wifes name nor did I call Tommy By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A NUMBER of persons set to vote in North Andros have changed their registration since the start of the voter fraud probe, according to FNM candidate for the area Desmond Bannister. The tribunal has set the course for a fairer process of elections in the country, said By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE police officer who shot and killed a reportedly unarmed man in Crooked Island over the weekend has been removed from active duty, the Tribune has learned. National Security Minister Tommy Tunrquest confirmed that the police officer has been flown to the capital while investigations are being carried out. The investigation is very much active. The officer in question was flown into Nassau Sunday afternoon. He is NOW HELP US T O REA CH TO FIND OUT MORE, TURN TO OUR CENTRE SPREAD WEVE RAISED $1M $206,000 MILLER DISMISSESTURNQUEST LAWSUIT AS FOOLISHNESS OFFICER IN SHOOTING OFF ACTIVE DUTY S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 8 8 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 8 8 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 8 8 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 8 8 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 2 2 VOTERS CHANGED REGIS TRA TION PRIME MINISTER Hubert Ingraham in Carmichael last night. The Prime Minister has backed Howard Johnson, inset, to become the candidate for Central and South Eleuthera, despite a possible constitutional challenge. Photo:Felip Major/Tribune Staff im lovin it
By KHRISNA VIRGIL k email@example.com C ONSTRUCTION of 13 homes destroyed in the south-e astern Bahamas during hurricane Irene will soon begin a s building supplies worth $400,000 were shipped to contractors late last evening. Y esterday, NEMA direc tor Captain Stephen Russell said at the Potter's Cay Dockt hat this shipment is the l argest to be sent to any i sland since the relief efforts began following the storm in August 2011. T he supplies will build 12 homes in Acklins and oneh ome in Long Cay. They were transported by the mail b oat Lady Rosalind II and are expected to arrive tonight. C ontractors on both islands, Mr Russell said, are waiting to receive the supplies andb egin the work, which should b e completed in four to 10 w eeks. Three weeks ago, I visited A cklins along with the finance officer and signed contracts with contractors to rebuild those homes. We pledged to g et the supplies to them as soon as we could. All of the materials that are required to build those 13 homes are on this vessel, Mr Russell said. T his relief effort is a part of the governments $3 million initiative to help those badly a ffected by hurricane Irene. According to Deborah H anna, the accountant for NEMA, just over 95 per cent of the money has been spent to date. F ollowing the category three hurricane, Cabinet ministers and senior government o fficials toured Cat Island, Acklins, Inagua and Long I sland to see the wreckage first-hand and meet locals who weathered the storm. Their visit to Acklins r evealed completely demolished homes, roofs torn from buildings and flooding. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 THE TRIBUNE DIRECTOR OF NEMA Captain Stephen Russell speaks to the media yesterday on board the Lady Roslin 2. P hotos: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff THELADYROSLIN2 being loaded up with supplies. BUILDING SUPPLIES are loaded onto the Lady Roslin 2 ready to be shipped to Acklins for use in the construction of new homes to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Irene. Work to repair hurricane damage to begin
By PACO NUNEZ T ribune News Editor POLICE officers may soon have to undergo mental andp hysical fitness tests to ensure they can deal with the stress associated with the job, Minister of National SecurityT ommy Turnquest revealed. He said additional training and evaluations will hopefull y help curb excessive actions by officers and reduce the number of com-p laints against police. Policing in the Bahamas today is challenging. Our police officers work in a high ly charged, highly stressful environment, one that is fraught with danger and uncertainty. The stakes are always high, he said. Mr Turnquest said he has held discussions with Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade about ways to ensure the mental and physic al health of the men and women on the force is protected. H e said while a number of measures have already been put in place in this regard, more could be on their wayv ery soon. The move is part of a plan to ensure officers operate at o ptimum capacity, given the stressful nature of the job, the minister said. Policing can take a signif icant toll on the officers of our force, on their health both physical and emotional and in their personal and family life. I am ever mindful of those health consequences that can come to our dedicated and hardworking police officers and I encourage all officers to eat healthy, exercise regu larly, and take care of them selves and their families, Mr T urnquest said. Additionally, a mentally and physically fit officer willr espond more appropriately in a variety of situations that he/she may encounter, which would lessen or eliminatee xcessive actions and complaints, therefore reducing liability claims, Mr Turnquest said. T he minister said officers should also develop their own ways of staying prepared fort he job. The police force performs regular maintenance on firearms, vehicles and othere quipment and therefore officers ought to recognise the importance of a regular maint enance programme for them selves, he said. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012, PAGE 3 By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FNM CHAIRMAN Carl Bethel yesterday challenged PLP leader Perry Christie to produce evidence of FNM supporters victimising PLPs. Mr Bethels comments came after Mr Christie saidin the House of Assembly that FNM supporters were not the only ones harassed in Grand Bahama. Mr Christie said: I have read detailed accounts of stories of FNMs attacking PLPs. This is a story that is unfold ing as we speak. There are accounts that when motorcades pass each other, there were some known persons who threw beer bottles and cans in vehicles, so these are matters that are being pro duced. Today I read a long list of people by name, accounts from people who are Progressive Liberal Party supporters who spoke of violence that happened to them. Some of them were people in the community who you would recognise. People who on the face of it you would think have no political reasons to do and say those things. Mr Bethel said the incident Grand Bahama in which FNMs were attacked by PLPs with a fire extinguisher, has been documented and he called for Mr Christie to pro duce his evidence. We have no information to say what he is saying is true. All I can say is we have no proof to confirm Mr Christies statement. If it is true, he should produce the information we have. The FNM candidate made a formal complaint to the police, Mr Bethel said. FNM candidate for East Grand Bahama Peter Turn quest claimed his teenage daughter and three other FNM supporters were sprayed in their faces with a fire extinguisher by PLP supporters while on a motorcade. After the incident, both Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Mr Christie called for peace between support ers. B y DENISE MAYCOCK T ribune Freeport Reporter d email@example.com FREEPORT The murder trial of Samiko Rigby opened in the Supreme Court on Tuesday before a jury of six women and six men. Rigby, 24, is accused of the m urder of 32-year-old Erison Tanelus on January 7, 2009 at Hepburn Town, Eight Mile Rock. He is also accused of armed robbery and burglary. T anelus and his wife were at home asleep when three m en, masked and armed, entered their apartment during the early morning hours of January 7. Tanelus wasf ound shot to death in an upstairs bedroom. Senior Justice Hartman L ongley is presiding over the matter. Erica Kemp of the Attorney Generals Office is prosecuting on behalf of theC rown, and Carlson Shurland is representing Rigby. Constable Deniqua Johns on was one of the officers on duty on the date in question when she received certain i nformation and proceeded to S am Rolles Apartment in Hepburn Town. When she arrived at Apartm ent Five around 2.45am, she heard a woman screaming inside. O fficer Johnson said she w ent to an upstairs bedroom, where she saw a black male lying face up on the ground w ith a wound to the head. She said the bedroom was ransacked. She said she tookt he pregnant woman, who w as screaming, downstairs and questioned her. P olice Sergeant Lafayette D orsett said on arrival at the scene he saw a bullet casing on the ground at the front d oor of Apartment Five. He also noticed that the first and s econd floors were ransacked. S gt Dorsette said the victim, whom he later learned was Erison Tanelus, was lying on the floor, bleeding from the head. H e added that EMS personnel were attending to the v ictim, who was dressed in a red T-shirt and red plaid boxers. Sgt Dorsett saw the victims w ife, Frantzcia Tanelus, sitt ing outside the building. He said she was in shock and was also being treated by EMSp ersonnel. The officer spoke with E lliot Gibson, the tenant of A partment Four. He took a written statement from Gibson, which was later handed over to the lead investigator. Samuel Rolle, the apartm ent owner, said Erison Tanelus and his wife had r esided at his duplex apartment since 2005. Two days before the murder, Rolle said he went to thec ouples apartment and saw t hat their bedroom door upstairs had been smashed in. He said he had a carpenterr epair the door on January 6. After Tanelus murder, R olle said the same bedroom d oor had been damaged. Pathologist Dr Ana Tancawan, Pathologist at the Rand Memorial Hospital, said the autopsy of Erison Tanelusw as performed by her former colleague, Dr Kacharli, on J anuary 9, 2009. She said the report indicated that Tanelus had sustained a gunshot wound to the head w hich caused traumatic skull a nd brain damage. There were multiple fractures of the skull and massivet raumatic cerebral brain injury, Dr Tancawan told the c ourt. S he said the report indicated that Tanelus had sustained a gaping entrance wound above the left eyebrow. Dr Tancawan said the vict ims wife had officially identified the body at the morgue o n January 8. Police officer 2984 Ernie Barr arrested Rigby for Tanelus murder on January8 at Jones Town, Eight Mile R ock. Rigby was searched and found in possession of a black Nokia cellular phone. T he trial resumes on Wednesday. By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org INVESTIGATIVE r eporters may not be able to m ake use of the Freedom of I nformation Act for some t ime, veteran journalist Patt y Roker said. While Island FMs Mrs Roker said she is encouraged by the introduction of the Act, its effectiveness in facilitating access to information and its impact on the way government authorities interact with the press and the community, will not be determined for a while. Yes, it is a start and better than not having any at all. It is going to be some time beforet he legislation comes into f orce and we can see how e ffective and efficient the Act will be, she said. M rs Roker said many quest ions will not be answered u ntil the new law is in use, i ncluding how the Act will be implemented and function, and how it will be used by the p ublic. She added that even after it c omes into force, government m inistries and their agencies will have 12 months before t hey must be in a position to c omply with its provisions. There are going to be a lot of growing pains and it is not going to be the Pandoras Box of information that everyone thinks, she said. T he Freedom of Informat ion Bill was debated for the s econd time in the House of Assembly on Monday following amendments by the Senate. The law aims to facilitate access to information held by the government and its agenc ies and other designated e ntities, subject to certain exceptions. The changes made to the Bill by the Senate include: the Act will come into force on a date to be appoint ed by the minister, instead of J uly 1, 2012. only Bahamian citizens and residents will have the right of access. the Information Commis sioner will now be the Data Protection Commissioner. the Official Secrets Act w ill override the Freedom Of I nformation Act. CHALLENGE OVERCLAIMS OFVICTIMISEDPLPS MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TESTS PLANNED FOR POLICE F REEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL A GOOD START Man accused of murdering victim in his own bedroom SAMIKO RIGBY is escorted by officers for the start of his murder trial. Photo:Vandyke Hepburn
EDITOR, The Tribune. I WAS delighted today to have read the message ofp eace by the Free National M ovements candidate for Killarney, the Hon Hubert Minnis. He wrote about allowing calm heads to prevail this election season and b eyond. I ts a point worth repeating by all responsible politicians i n the land, as the temperature is truly rising among the people across the politicald ivide. I have never experienced such touchiness, itchiness, and angriness among B ahamians of different politi cal perspectives in the Bahamas until now. If things continue on this c ourse, we could be in for something violently new in our electoral process, and itw ill be a direct reflection of our 21st century political leadership in the Bahamas. Respect should always be our password; and with it comes responsibility and love for one another. The political disrespect that seems to b e out of control in our count ry today is a part of the wider disrespectful culture thats slowly tearing us apart. W e cannot be serious about a prosperous future as one p eople, if we hate one another because we support different political parties, or we see things differently. If the invasive contempt for o ne another continues through the upcoming general election, then what kindo f results do we expect at the end of the day, brothers and s isters? Y es, the assault incident in Grand Bahama this weekend involving a candidates daughter, is one worthy of serious note and action. Nip it nowo r be sorry later. I have noticed that so-called responsible politicians and political leaders in our country are first concerned about winning by hook or by crook. W ell, Mr and Ms politicians, y ou all better change that outlook before you dont become a victim of your distorted philosophy. Lets all watch and see who w ill follow Dr Minnis of Killarney, and denounce all forms of violence in this elect ion season and onwards, b ecause only real leaders will do so. Step up to the plate brothe rs and sisters who seek our vote. D ENNIS DAMES Nassau, March 19, 2012. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 OUR CONSTITUTION guarantees every resident of this country the right off ree speech, conscience and assembly. No one election or no election has the right t o interfere with these basic freedoms. T hose who do should be severely punished. Freedom of conscience assures each and everyone of us the right to our beliefs, r egardless of how others might disagree. F reedom of expression gives us the right to express those beliefs as we see fit, as long as we respect the rights of others to do t he same. In other words we all agree to disagree, but in a friendly manner, one respecting the right of the other to have his turn on the floor. We also have the right tof ree association with persons of like mind, including political parties. Under our Constitution, no one has the right to interfere. T hese inalienable rights should be ingrained in each of us from childhood. To be devoid of them on reaching adulthood m eans that such persons have been lost on t he fringes of civilisation. They live in a democracy, but they neither belong nor appreciate that democracy. The only timet hat there is a squeak out of them is if someone retaliates by stepping on their toes it is only then that they become aware and quickly demand their constitut ional protection. In a letter to The Tribune today, Dennis D ames commends Killarney MP Dr H ubert Minnis (FNM calm heads to prevail during this elec tion season. We must remember, said Dr Minnis, that we are all Bahamians and when the election is over, we must all still live together in this Bahamaland. It is not u nusual for one home to have individuals who support different political parties but what is unusual for us, is for family memb ers not to support each other, instead allowing political persuasions to affect our family bond. We must continue to respect an indi v iduals right to speak, support and vote for the party of their choice, as this is the fundamentals of the democratic process at its best. We must bring out the best in each other; we should practice patience, hospitality and love. We should abstainf rom mud-slinging and personal attacks on each other because at the end of the day, we all want one thing, a betterB ahamas.No one wants to live in a viol ent, unfriendly environment. Dr Minnis called for peace and respect one for the other on learning that thed aughter of one of Grand Bahamas FNM candidates, and three other supporters were sprayed in their faces with a fire extinguisher by a PLP supporter. Why would anyone carry a fire extinguisher to a political rally? This case should be thoroughly investigated and, iff ound to be true, the culprit or culprits should be severely punished. I n commenting on Dr Minnis call for c alm, Mr Dames wrote that he had never experienced such touchiness, itchiness, and angriness among Bahamians of diff erent political perspectives in the B ahamas until now. He said that if things continue on this course, we could be in for something vio-l ently new in our electoral process and it will be a direct reflection of our 21st century political leadership in the Bahamas. We remember when Mr Dames first s tarted writing letters for publication in The Tribune and so we guess that he is too young to remember the elections oft he sixties and the PLP goon squads where election violence all started. Today we are only reaping the seeds t hat were sown then violence, disres pect for law and order, disrespect for our elders and ourselves, satanic worship at the altar of materialism on and on intot odays pit of degradation. Today in almost every aspect of our decadent social behaviour we are reaping the evil seeds that were sown then. I n those days, the PLPs goon squads, with their loud clackers, were so violent that p ublic rallies could not be held. We recall o ne night covering a political meeting in Fox Hills school house when the building was stoned. The foreign journalist with us,s ent to cover the election, was so frightened t hat he crawled under one of the classroom benches for protection. People were injured, people were sent to hospital. Their picturesm ade the front page of T he Tribune Bahamians were frightened to write letters to The Tribune and those who did neve r attached their names. One night a wom ans home was stoned because it was believed that she had written a letter critical of the PLP to The Tribune Properties were b urned, a policeman was sent to T he Tri bune to try to force us to reveal the identity of a Freeport letter writer. The police officer disliked his assignment as much as we did, and so we had a friendly chat, wished him well and sent a stinging message back tot he PLP Cabinet minister who had sent him. By the seventies, we were into the drug years fast boats, retaliatory killings, and ag eneral breakdown of all the rules that had h eld a Christian society together. Fast mon ey was a badge of success. And so do not send to know for whom t he bell tolls, it tolls for each and every one of us. Now is the time for zero tolerance either that or surrender our society to the refuse born and bred in the sixties. Let calm heads prevail LETTERS l email@example.com Protect our Constitutional rights E DITOR, The Tribune E LECTION season is upon us once again. This important event is commonly referred to by the general public as Silly Season, but to be honest, Stupid Season is a more accurate description, because e very time this five year event comes along, decency, com mon sense, brotherhood, and C hristian values go straight o ut the window, and stupidity, ignorance, immorality and yes, even violence, take centres tage. Even though I am by no means a supporter of the Free National Movement (FNM will never, ever vote or ever support the Progressive Lib e ral Party (PLP Because of the way both their supporters, as well as party members, behave. I would e ven go as far as saying that the PLP in my opinion is the p arty for degenerates, thugs, and disturbingly uneducated people who are completely devoid of good behaviorals kills. I read with disgust, anger, shame and disappointment a report in this very paper, dated Monday, March 19, 2012, a report that support-e rs of the Free National M ovement were attacked by you know who, where the victims were allegedlys prayed in the face with a fire extinguisher. FNM can didate for East Grand Bahama Peter Turnquest stated that his daughter, as well as members of his cam paign team were injured in s aid alleged attack, and has called on the PLP to control their supporters as election fever heats up. My advice to M r Turnquest: dont hold your breath waiting for that t o happen. As I have stated earlier, I am not a supporter of the FNM, but should they wint his election, I would not feel too bad about it, because it would mean that the PLP cert ainly did not win. Give cred it to the PLP though; they are certainly doing their darnedb est to win this election, with t heir non-stop campaigning and flashy political ads. But if they continue to behave likeo gres, they can kiss whatever dreams (pipe dreams, I hope of ever winning this election good-bye, because I, along with many other sensible people in this country, most cer tainly will not vote for them. EYES WIDE OPEN Nassau, March 19, 2012. Why I will never vote for the PLP EDITOR, The Tribune. CAN someone explain to me and the other organisers of tourist activities why there is a policy of police harassment towards these persons on Bay Street and the dock area? I understand why there has to be a strong police presence on Bay Street. This has been needed for some time. The jitneys in particular need monitoring. But it beats me why the police have to demonstrate rude and aggres sive behaviour towards the activity providers as they are attempting to pick up or drop off their pre-paid groups in the dock area or on the main thoroughfare. This is demoralising for the activity professionals and downright scary for the visi tors. Obviously, no one has educated the police as to the extreme importance of these activities (which, by the way are dwindling) and that the day such activities are no longer available it will be the demise of the tourist business as we know it. The police should be bending over backwards to assist these persons who are entertaining our bread and butter customers. Or maybe they think that the Bahamas has some other means of finan cial support, which, by the way, pays their salaries? Mr Greenslade, I hope you are listening. S SMITH Nassau, March 2, 2012. P P o o l l i i c c e e b b e e h h a a v v i i o o u u r r t t o o o o r r u u d d e e a a n n d d a a g g g g r r e e s s s s i i v v e e
By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org MARIOS Bowling and F amily Entertainment Palace w ill be hosting its second annual Marios and Big Os Charity fun/run/walk/skateo n the last day of this month, in support of the Bahamas Crisis Centre. The initiative allows partic i pants to walk, run, or even skate a 6.5 mile route after donating a $15 entrance fee w ith all the proceeds going to the centre. Announcing the event yesterday at Marios, sales and m arketing manager Gregory Wilkinson said the run/walk/skate is part of the companys on-going effort to give something back to the community every year. We found that the Bahamas Crisis Centre was most suitable (this year everything thats happeningi n our community with crime and the economy people are very emotionally stressed and w e assume that they are all going to be turning to the Bahamas Crisis Centre thisy ear, he said. Mr Wilkinson pointed out the crisis centre no longer provides aid only to women, but now offers their aid to anyone who needs it. People are very stressed out and its really affecting the family in a very negative way... Its just really everybody in society, because there are men and women and children everybodys hurt and we cant find a better cause to take on at this time, he said. A representative of the centre, Sandra Dean Patterson, thanked Marios for choosing the centre as the benefactor of this years initiative. Were very grateful for Marios to think of us and make us the recipient of their energy on the 31st, she said. The Crisis Centre is a real oasis, refuge, for persons who hurt and there are a lot hurting people in Nassau. Hurt ing in all kinds of ways whether its as a result of physical violence, sexual assault, child abuse, incest, psychological assault... and we provide that escape, that r efuge for persons, but in o rder to do that we need the corporate community to help us and so were really gratefult o Marios for thinking of us. The Bahamas Crisis centre provides Bahamians with abuse therapy assistancei ncluding a 24-hour hotline service and individual and group counselling for physical and sexual abuse victims. Also speaking at the event were Shavaugn Blades from B ahamas Road Masters and M arios owner and PLP Tall Pines candidate, Leslie Miller. The event will kick off at 6 am on March 31 and participants are asked to call 3268012 to register. The route starts at Marios t hen heads west on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway to Prospect Ridge, left on Sky l ine Drive to Bay Street, east on Bay Street and then right on to Prospect Ridge, and back to Marios. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012, PAGE 5 By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A POLICE detective who investigated a 2010 shooting d eath admitted he did not put t he accused killers confession on the detention record the evening it was made. Sgt 1406 Dwight Davis made the admission yesterday afternoon in Supreme Court during cross-examinat ion in the murder trial of 26year-old Kevano Musgrove. Musgrove, of Halsmere Road, Highbury Park, is charged with the February 25,2 010 murder of David Bowleg J r. B owleg, 34, was found shot to death in the back seat of a Honda Accord in the area of Holiday Drive, South Beach. I n yesterdays proceedings, Sgt Davis recounted his investigation of the matter fromt he day of the killing to his second interview with Musg rove, which took place the evening of March 7. Musgrove had been arrested the previous day in connection with the killing. He was cautioned at the Central D etective Unit and it was put t o him that he, along with others, caused the death of David Bowleg Jr. Musgrove offered no comment, the officer told prosecutor Roger Thompson. The next evening, March 7, h e was going to be taken back to the Grove Police Station. The accused asked to speak with the detective alone, to come clean and do the rightt hing, Sgt Davis said. M usgrove admitted to k illing the victim, according to the officer, but said: I thought he was coming to kill me first so I kill him. A statement was taken from the suspect at CDU Headquarters. T he following scenario was recounted to Sgt Davis by M usgrove, according to the officer. Musgrove said he was at his home when a car had pulled up. He heard that a hit had been put out on him by a nother man known as Guy S tubbs. He said the contract on his head resulted from his having shot Fish, an associate of Bowleg and Guy. He waited inside the house and watched Bowleg from the w indow as he walked around to the kitchen door. Musgrove pulled out a 9mm handgun and waited in the hallway as Bowleg camei nside. He pointed the gun in B owlegs direction and fired a s hot, hitting the intruder in the abdomen. Musgrove ran to Bowlegs side, pointed the gun at hima gain and asked where Guy Stubbs and Fish were. Bowleg asked to be taken t o hospital. Musgrove ducktaped the injured mans a nkles and eventually gave in to his request. However, Musgrove reconsidered, believing that Bowleg would report back to those who put the hit out on him. He decided he was going t o kill David and fired another shot in the back of the car. He contacted his brother Jerad Holmes and asked him to collect him from Holiday Drive, the officer told the court. After this, he called his m other and told her what he had done, he said. Sgt Davis told the jury he handed the statement to the accused to read over. A fter giving the statement, M usgrove was taken to the s cene and asked where he put the gun, but he did not want to say, the officer said. Although defence attorney M urrio Ducille argued against the statement being read in court, Justice Indra Charleso verruled his objection and the officer read the statement. D uring cross-examination, Mr Ducille asked the detective if there was mention of Musgrove giving a confession on the police detention record that evening. L ooking at the document on t he witness stand, the officer said there was no such entry. I could say there was an oversight on my part, he admitted. Thats a serious oversight, Mr Ducille replied. T he attorney also suggested that the detective and other officers beat his client and forced him to sign the statement. The sergeant denied this. M r Ducille also told the o fficer the statement and his t estimony about what Musgrove reportedly told him did not match. He asked the officer if the i nvestigation produced forensic evidence suggesting that there was blood on the wash-e r and dryer at Musgroves home. No, sir, he said. Mary Chin Neely, 55, also gave evidence yesterday. She had initially been charged with being an accessory after the fact. However, the charges w ere dropped against her. S he had given police a signed statement saying her son confessed to her over the phone that he killed David Bowleg. However, when the statement was brought up, she d enied receiving a call from her son and said the statement she had given to police was not the one presented in court. D uring cross-examination, s he admitted that she was a rrested on two occasions by police and felt intimidated throughout the ordeal. She said she signed the s tatement because police told her she would be released if she did. T he trial resumes today at 10am. BOWLING ALLEY TO HOST ANNUAL CHARITY EVENT T O HELP CRISIS CENTRE Detective admits not placed accused killers confession on detention record SANDRA DEAN P ATTERSON, l eft, of the Bahamas Crisis Centre and G regory Wilkinson, of Marios Bowling and Family Enter tainment Palace.
residency. Mr Johnson was employed a t NOVA Southeastern Uni versity as an associate lecturer, and it is understood that he did not resign from the post until December last year. A ccording to the FNMs website, Mr Johnson is currently on a sabbatical fromt he Florida-based university w here he was also pursuing a doctorate degree in conflict analysis and resolution. Mr Johnson reportedly enrolled at the university in 2009. The final go-ahead to launch Mr Johnson was given last night at a council meeting, at which time executives were told that Mr Johnsons can didacy issues had been resolved and that a public announcement on the matterw ould be made. And last night the Prime Minister gave his own e ndorsement. Speaking at the opening of the Carmichael constituency headquarters, heh ighlighted the locations the F NM would be visiting in the coming days, adding: And on Saturday night we will be in Central and South Eleuthera where Howard Johnson will send Damian Gomez packing back to Nas sau where he lives. According to article 47 (b of the constitution, persons eligible for membership in the House of Assembly must be at least 21 years old and ordi narily resident in the country for at least one year immediately before the date of his nomination. T he Tribune contacted a number of federal and local agencies in the United States t o confirm Mr Johnsons sta tus yesterday; however, due to the countrys privacy lawst he information is confident ial. Elizabeth MP Ryan Pinder came under fire during the areas 2010 bye-elections over concerns that he had not revoked his US citizenship prior to being nominated by the Progressive Liberal Par ty. Mr Pinder narrowly defeat ed his FNM challenger Dr Duane Sands following an election court ruling in March of that year. being questioned and going through the parts of the inves tigation. We take police involved shootings very seri ously, especially when some one is killed, he said. Anytime there is a police involved shooting, fatal or otherwise, there is a full investigation. We sent a Superin tendent from Exuma, an officer from the complaints and corruption unit along with a team of officers to Crooked Island to lead the investiga tions. We hope to have a conclusion in short order. Ezra Ferguson, 25, was shot and killed by an officer while at a local cook out last Satur day. Police have remained tight lipped, releasing few details about the Cabbage Hill incident. An official police report only said the shooting occurred around 9.25pm at Sea View Beach, Crooked Island. When contacted, Supt Stephen Dean said police were still investigating and could not comment on something as sensitive as a policeman being involved in a shooting without having all the details. Meanwhile, the second man that was shot by police on Saturday is said to now be in sta ble condition. According to police reports, the incident occurred around 2pm on Saturday at the Nassau Street Police Station. Police said the 25-year-old man was shot while attempt ing to evade arrest. The suspect was captured and taken to hospital where his condition has now been upgraded to stable. Active police investigations continue in both matters. Turnquests name in relation to any beating of wives, so if he chooses to cry foul when he was the one that initiated the fight I find it so incredi ble and so petty, he said. I got served yesterday... its a joke, really, because what happens now when Mr Keith Bell and the other persons in our party, including myself now, join each other and bringa suit against him. He cant believe that hes just going to come with his suit and were not going to counter-sue him, Mr Miller said. He then recalled comments reportedly made by Mr Turn quest concerning attorney Keith Bell and other PLP party officials. I got so much more things to do in my life right now than fool around with Tommy Turnquest and his little frivo lous lawsuits, Mr Miller said. This guy who initiated this whole foolishness is running to the courts to talk foolishness around people there? Please. He got nothing else to do? When the crime is at an all time high? When neigh bours are being murdered everyday? When we are being threatened? Now by the Unit ed States government that they put out a warning to their citizens to be careful. Hes concerned about a lawsuit instead of looking at the governance of our country? Mr Miller later said: It is his right as a citizen to do whatev er he wants to do, it is our right too, to do what is necessary to counteract what he would have done. He brought a lawsuit, we will bring a lawsuit. But is that really what is in the minds of average Bahamians today? THE new base being developed at Gun Point in Ragged Island will allow the Royal Bahamas Defence Force tom aintain a constant presence o n the Great Bahama Bank, Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest said. The base is expected to become operational later this year. The Great BahamaB ank is one of the countrys richest fishing grounds, the minister noted. Mr Turnquest said the harbour is nearing completion, and will have the capacity to accommodate the DefenceF orces 200-foot patrol craft a nd several mail boats. The base also will be able to accommodate up to 35 marines. He said: The forces decentralisation strategyd emands an increase in its h uman capital and operational assets, Mr Turnquest said. The government of the Bahamas will continue to invest in the personnel and assets of the Defence Force.W e will continue to focus on l ocal and international military training in the areas of leadership and management, as well as professional and technical skills development. Substantial investment in n ew vessels and other physical a ssets and ongoing recruitment of marines will ensure the continued growth and development of the Force as it modernises its operational and administrative capacity t o successfully combat threats t o national security, Mr Turnquest added. Mr Turnquest said the decentralisation of the Defence Force remains a primary focus for the Governm ent and includes plans to c ontinue to develop bases in Grand Bahama and Inagua, in addition to sub-bases in Abaco and Exuma. These bases allow the realisation of the Defence Forces aim to maintain a continuous presence at strategic chokepoints throughout our archipelago. They act as a deterrent and enhance our capaci t y to apprehend those who seek to violate our laws and diminish our prospects for peace and prosperity, Mr Turnquest added. T he National Security Mini ster said the Government is pleased with the positive direction in which the Defence Force is heading. The archipelagic nature of our country makes the man-a gement of our borders and t he protection of our shores very challenging, Mr Turnquest said. Notwithstanding those challenges, (The Royal Bahamas Defence Force has) continued to patrol the waters o f The Bahamas to deter and a pprehend illegal migrants, as well as foreign poachers of our marine resources, and those engaged in drug trafficking and illegal firearms smuggling. Mr Turnquest said the gove rnment is aware of the needs t o increase the number of Officers and Marines (1,103 currently serving on the Force, in addition to increas-i ng the number of women. This, he said, will be done through the recruitment of qualified young Bahamian men and women. There are currently 62 recruits in training, who, ifs uccessful, will join the regular Defence Force in June of this y ear. There will be a further recruitment squad in July of this year, and the DefenceF orce has been mandated to t arget schools across The Bahamas aimed at enlisting both males and females. The Defence Force currently has a s taff complement of approximately 18 per cent women and it is the goal of this Gov-e rnment to see the percenta ge of women increased to 25 per cent over the next five years, Mr Turnquest added. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 THE TRIBUNE f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e Mr Bannister, sitting MP for Carmichael and Minister of Education. I can tell you that any number of people have called a nd told me that they will get l egitimate, Mr Bannister said. I know a number of peop le have changed their registration. He added: The law of the country provides for how and w here people are to vote. You cannot be living in New Providence or Freeport and m ake decisions for the peo ple of Andros. Its a very simple thing, the people who live here are the people who o ught to make determinations on their leadership. Hearings in North Andros are underway following claims by Mr Bannister that PLP operatives have been flying voters in from otheri slands to register in the constituency. The governing party produced a lists of 30 voters to be investigated and have a nnounced plans to file a second list. T he first hearing will continue on Friday, when lead counsel will present their finals ubmissions. At last weeks hearing, island administrator Huntley Christie said the fraud claimsw ere regrettable due to the p olarizing effect it has had on the small community. However, he noted that the process will serve to ensure that voters take registration seriously. Calls placed to Administ rator Christie, concerning the number of persons that have removed themselves from the register since the hearings began, were unreturned yest erday. Mr Bannister said: It may d ivide some people, because some people stand up for what is right and becauses omeone else might want to have their own way. But I have to applaud the people who stood up for whati s right, and when anyone s tands up for principle they will have opposition by those who want to have their own way, but you stand up for principle. Mr Bannister explained that voter fraud has been al ongstanding issue for residents as far back as the 1987 elections. PLP Leader Perry Christie labelled the claims as voter i ntimidation at the opening of the partys Fox Hill cons tituency office Monday. Mr Christie suggested that improper registration couldb e voter confusion stemming from the new rules. He added that his party was working to ensure that votersw ere registered correctly. Gun Point base to open later this year f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e MILLER DISMISSES TURNQUES T LAWSUIT AS FOOLISHNESS FNMBACKSJOHNSON VOTERS CHANGED REGISTRATION OFFICER IN SHOOTING OFF ACTIVE DUTY TOMMYTURNQUEST has confirmed the Gun Point base will open late r this year.
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012, PAGE 9 F OX Hill MP Fred Mitchell denied the PLP was attacked by vendors whilev isiting the Straw Market early last week. Addressing his constituents at a rally in Fox Hill on Mon d ay, Mr Mitchell said despite reports in the media and com ments by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, no such incident took place. He said: Nothing could be f urther from the truth. It was a great and successful visit, one that boosted the spirit of the v endors. Mr Ingrahams suggesting otherwise based on erroneous media reports. Its a disservice to the straw vendors, it is unbelievable, unthinkable. No vendor threatened us. N o vendor attacked us. There was nothing that happened that disrupted the markets ave a spirited and spontaneous rally for the PLP. Anything else that you heard is simply untrue. M r Mitchell also said if reelected, he would put young people first, starting with an increase in the minimum wage. I want to seek the support of my colleagues to raise them inimum wage around the country from the present $150 per week to $210 per week w hich is the minimum wage for government workers. This should help the work ers at Sandals in Exuma who are suffering. We know that 34 per cent of the people in t he country under 25 are unemployed. That means one in three have no work. I pledge to work to create 10,000 jobs within the first two years of the PLP administration to put our young people t o work. I will work more generally to create jobs for all our people, he said. I pledge also to work for legislation to protect people's primary homes from being sold outf rom under them by unscrupulous and rapacious banks. I pledge to put the infra s tructure in place to make Fox Hill the tourist Mecca that we want with sidewalks, security, bathrooms and the upgrade of the Ocean Hole on Step Street. I will finish the community centre. Additionally, we will build a new classroom block for Sandilands, put a track at Doris Johnson and upgrade the computer systems at L W Young. We are pledged to double the nations investment in edu cation within five years. Part of this must also be a strategy to reduce violence in our schools. That will mean a pre-school at Sandilands Primary School, he said. Mr Mitchell urged constituents to vote PLP and send the message to the Prime Minster that his time is up and the FNM has to go. MITCHELL DENIES STRAW MARKET INCIDENT MITCHELL DENIES STRAW MARKET INCIDENT PLP S UPPORTERS in Fox Hill at a rally on Monday, where Fred Mitchell, the current MP f or the constituency, told supporters that the PLP w as not attacked by vendors during a visit to the Straw Market. Inset, our front page story reporting the incident. Photos: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff FREDMITCHELL at Monday nights rally.
I N RECENT weeks, the Democratic National Alliance has tried to gain political mileage by stirring up a controversy over oil exploration. But rather than focus on the very real substantive issues ina constructive way, they chose to launch a series of personal attacks and conspiracy charges. In view of the enormous international pressures and revenues that can be expect-e d, together with the dramatic changes to our way of life that are implicit in future oil production, not to mention the incredible pollution risks, it is worth taking a closer look a t this issue particularly in the context of the accusations o f cover-ups and carve-ups. O ur original petroleum act was passed in 1945 to facilit ate exploration by Gulf Oil, S tandard Oil, Superior Oil and Shell. It was replaced by legislation enacted by the Pindling government in 1971, w hich came into effect seven years later and remains in f orce today. T he last exploratory well was drilled here in 1986 by a c ompany called Tenneco, and w hile no commercial production followed from those earl y explorations, there were oil shows and most experts are convinced that large quantities of petroleum lie beneath o ur seabed. T he Christie government awarded a British group (late r constituted as the Bahamas Petroleum Company) five new exploration licenses for just under four million acres in 2006. The licenses became effective just before the last general election in April 2007, when they were signed by theg overnor-general. And for the past several years, BPC has been conducting geophysical r esearch in the Bahamas. Now BPC says it is preparing to conduct appraisal drilling south of Andros, and the DNA thinks this amounts to a conspiracy involving secret deals. The party has set up a Facebook petition on oile xploration, asking Bahamians to sign If you think we should control our resources to benefit all Bahamians, so we can demand answers before its too late. F rom the commentary it has made, the DNA is clearly n ot opposed to drilling, but is s imply trying to stir the pot. This is not necessarily a bad t hing, but it depends on how i t is done. Accuracy and honesty are important when making public statements on complex issues. Publishing false s tatements and facilitating wild allegations will lead to a r apid loss of credibility. F or example, according to the DNA, this government n egotiated a 12.5 per cent ( royalty), one of the worst in any country. In fact, it was t he Pindling government back in 1971 that set a then industry-standard minimum royalty rate of 12.5 per cent of the selling value at the w ell-head of the petroleum won and saved from the l icensed or leased area. And, contrary to what the DNA now alleges, the licenses awarded to the Isle of Manbased Bahamas Petroleum Company in 2007, set a sliding scale of 12.5 to 25 per cent of production value, a fact whichB PC clearly shows on its website. Those licenses were never r enewed, because the gov ernment imposed a moratorium on oil exploration in 2008, while efforts were made to pin down precise maritime boundaries with Cuba, the US and the UK/Turks & Caicos Islands. The boundary withC uba where four of the BPC licenses are located was finalised last October. In 2010 following the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill the government decide d to step back and review the entire petroleum policy f ramework before allowing e xploration to resume. The Ministry of the Environment a lso required all license holde rs and new applicants to produce environmental impact assessments for the areas they wished to explore. T here are currently seven approved licenses for oil e xploration in Bahamian w aters, and 10 applications for new licenses have been s ubmitted since 2008. Five of t he approved licenses are held by BPC. The other two are h eld by Liberty Oil, but were suspended because of the companys failure to remove a sunken vessel from an Abaco r eef. A US company called NPT Oil has applied for seven l icenses covering more than six million acres north of Grand Bahama. NPTs Bahamian data and assets were recently acquired by Pennine Petroleum Corporation, an emerging oil and gas exploration and developmentc ompany active in Alberta and Saskatchewan. A Canadian geophysicist n amed Allan Spector has applied for an onshore license near Seymours on north Long Island. And a partnership b etween BPC and the Norwegian company Statoil has a pplied for three licenses cove ring more than 2.3 million acres near the Cay Sal bank. DNA Montagu candidate Ben Albury who has led the p artys campaign on this issue says he is simply demanding transparency and information. B ut he has also accused Envi ronment Minister Earl D eveaux of gross malfeas ance, without any evidence, a nd has succeeded in making t he issue more opaque, rather than clearer, for the average Bahamian. My main issue, he told me over the weekend, is thed odging of the questions by Deveaux. If you listen to his comments, he makes it sound a s if there is a moratorium on oil exploration, (but telling the media that theyi ntend to drill in the coming m onths. Albury cites a Miami Herald article published last O ctober, in which Dr Paul Gucwa, BPCs chief operat ing officer, refers to plans for a n exploratory well by the end of this year. The Bahamian government has a moratorium on granting new e xploration licenses, the H erald reported, but... that could change following the count rys May general elections. BPC has contacted 10 major international oil companies about partnering in its oile xploration operations. A review of Deveauxs statements on this matter overm any months, if not years, shows an entirely consistent position. He has repeatedly stated that the exploration freeze will remain in effect until an updated regulatory system has been put in place. He has also said that the present government is committed to the widest possible pub lic consultation on the issue of oil production. However, if you listen to the talk shows, some Bahamians are already gearing up to stop work and collect their black gold dividend cheques, while others are wor ried about secret backroom deals in which the well-connected carve up the country's seabed for their personal benefit. Interestingly, there may be some truth to this. As mentioned earlier, experts have believed for decades that large quantities of oil and gas lie beneath the Bahamian seabed, and now that drilling technologies and market prices have reached the point where exploitation is not only feasible but profitable, we can reasonably project a massive influx of petroleum revenues in the near future. But that is precisely why the government is seeking to overhaul our regulatory, leg islative, environmental and financial regimes, in order to lay the groundwork for the orderly development of this industry (whether you like it or not). As Deveaux told me over the weekend: Without detailing all the issues inher ent in something so materially significant, it is a clear responsibility of the government to prepare the country for oil and its likely conse quences. The DNA appears to be confused because, under e xisting Bahamian law, licensees are required to drill a n exploratory well within a c ertain timeframe which in BPCs case is prior to April 2013 or risk forfeiting their rights. The company says it h as completed the required e nvironmental impact assessment for this test well and is a lready working on a man agement plan. M eanwhile, Environment M inistry officials have met w ith their counterparts in N orway to discuss revisions to the existing act and regulations, and consultants have produced working drafts for the government to review,a fter which they will go to the attorney-general. Deveaux says the proposed regulatory s ystem will be included in his hand-over notes for the next government. Our visit to Norway in D ecember was very useful and the government has agreed in principle to use thatc ountrys policies as a guide in developing a Bahamian petro leum industry, Deveaux said. N orway began offshore petroleum production in 1971 and is now the world's seventh largest oil exporter and sec o nd largest gas exporter, with some 600 licenses awarded to a variety of companies. Norweg ian officials have advised the Bahamas to have all the essen tial elements of oil and gas governance in place beforea ny drilling begins. These include environmental, safety, tax, revenue, training ande mployment policies; contingency plans; and insurance requirements. Norways national petroleum policy seeks to ensure long term management of, and value-creation from, the countrys petroleum resources. Oil and gas activities are restricted to offshore waters, and all subsea resources are vested in the state, which is charged with managing them for the benefit of Norwegian society as a whole. As we said, under the current Bahamian act, an explo ration license includes an obligation to drill, and a bond must be posted to that effect as a way of precluding speculators. Exploration licenses are awarded for an initial term of three years, renewable for two successive threeyear periods, but the 2008 moratorium meant that BPCs original license was put on hold and never technically renewed. Similarly, if BPCs explo ration is successful, current law says it is entitled to a renewable 30-year lease to begin commercial production. The royalty rate for produc tion of oil and gas is based on a sliding scale of 12.5 to 25 per cent (from which the lease fee is deducted), with no other taxes or fees required. Equipment can also be imported duty-free. On its website, BPC says that its license expires on April 26, and it has applied for renewal. The company notes that if it meets its obligations, the governor-general shall renew the licences for another three years provided the company commits to drill an exploration well and (starts end of the first renewal year, i e, by April 26, 2013. So there is clearly some ten s ion between the positions of t he government and BPC, which claims to have invested $50 million so far to explore. Appraisal drilling is projected t o cost several hundred mill ion more, and obviously the company expects to benefit f rom this investment. But the petroleum act was written 40 y ears ago, and is silent on m any of the complex issues t he Bahamas would face as a n oil producer. Meanwhile, the DNA has rightly argued that oil drilling threatens two of the countrys biggest industries tourisma nd fishing. (We know if Mr. Deveaux and the FNM government have e nsured the protection of Bahamian interests, Ben Albury says. Well, the shorta nswer is that Deveaux has r epeatedly talked of the need to train Bahamians to manage a new regulatory envi-r onment. We have to come to the public with full information,D eveaux told me. We want a standard of management sim ilar to that of Norway. We need a petroleum directorate t hat is fully staffed with a range of expertise, including financial. If oil is produced w e will be dealing with bil lions of dollars, changing the whole culture of the country and the way the governmentd eals with money. It is no small thing. In Norway, for example, s urplus oil revenue is deposited in a $600 billion sovereign wealth fund so that the coun try's non-renewable resources can benefit future genera tions. The fund is managed by the central bank, under rules developed by the Ministry of Finance, and is responsible to parliament, with the interest used to cov er government pension obligations. Consultants have also advised the Bahamas to increase royalties and adopt profit sharing with oil companies in order to compensate for the absence of a corpo rate income tax. As noted earlier, BPCs licenses were awarded by the Christie administration in 2006, and signed by former Governor-General Arthur Hanna in April, 2007. It is noteworthy that PLP candi date Jerome Gomez is the companys resident manager, former PLP cabinet minister Sean McWeeney is its senior counsel, and PLP deputy leader Brave Davis law firm is the companys onshore legal advisor. What is even more note worthy is that the PLP has so far ignored this important public debate. The FNMs position is that nothing can happen until the government approves and nothing will happen until there is public consultation. The DNA says it will hold a national refer endum on oil exploration and production. The PLP is heav ily conflicted in this matter and has said nothing. Did someone mention carve-up and cover-up? What do you think? Send comments to larry@tribune media.net or visit www.bahamapundit.com. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 10, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 THE TRIBUNE Oil drilling in the Bahamas the facts behind the scares A MAP s howing the boundary lineb etween Cuban and B ahamian waters.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012, PAGE 11 By MICHAELMISICK MY FELLOW Turks and Caicos Islanders, I addressy ou today March 19, 2012,with a heavy heart as I h ave been left with no other choice than to seek political asylum in a third country othe r than my beloved Turks and Caicos Islands. M y reason for doing so is simple because of the political persecution that is taking place to me and my family, former Cabinet Ministers and their families and a select few developers who supported me and my Progressive National Party during my tenure as Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands. I am convinced that this whole persecution is because of my views and firm plan to move our country towards Independence. This plan goes counter to the British and their supporters in theTurks and Caicos Islands. That is why stories were fabricated by the opposition, the British and their supporters in order to call for a Commission of Inquiry. It is unprecedented for a Commission of Inquiry to be comprised of a sole commis sioner. It is my view that Sir Robin Auld came to Turks and Caicos Islands with specific instructions from the For eign Office as to what the out come of the Commission of Inquiry will be. In short, the outcome was pre-determined. To add insult to injury, they have bypassed the entire legal system by appointing a Special Prosecutor whose prima ry goal is to get rich of the backs of Turks and CaicosI slands tax payers and to make a name for herself. Helen Garlick has already collected over $20 million of Turks and Caicos Islands tax payers money and is slated to collect at least another $10 million in 2012, at a time when the interim government is laying off hundreds of civil servants, cutting pensions and other benefits and increasing taxes. There is no way that I, or any of the persons that have been accused by Helen Garlick and her team, can get a fair trial. The British Gov ernment, aided by two governors, Gordon Wetherell and now Ric Todd, have abol ished our fundamental right to jury trial. They have also suspended democracy. The Governor and the prosecutor control the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. They have changed so many laws such as the Proceeds of Crime Bill, laws pertaining to evidence, laws pertaining to hearsay all in an attempt to convict me and my colleagues. If we have done something illegal why is there a need to change so many laws in order to secure a conviction? Whyc ould we not be tried under the same system that thousands of people were tried under over the years? Why did they have to abolish our Parliament and the Executive? Is it so that they, including the prosecutor, can change the laws and the entire judi cial system uninhibited with out the normal checks and balances that exist in a democracy to ensure their goal which is the conviction of me and my colleagues? If another country had done this, the British would have been outraged and they would seek international sanctions against that country. This is double-standard and political persecution of the highest order. They have sought to politically persecute us because we desire to live in an independent Turks and Caicos Islands, where the rule of law applies to everyone; where the rules and laws cant be changed to get rid of a person or government because you disagree with their political views and goals. Finally, we can never get a fair trial considering the changes that were made and the interference with the justice system by the Governor, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick. You have the situation where the Governor appoints the prosecutor, she will choose the judge and the Governor appoints who she chooses. The Governor at a public meeting has already announced that we are guilty, therefore the whole notion ofa trial is a show. We know, and all Turks and Caicos Islanders know, that the verdict has already been decided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Governor the prosecutor and the Judges that they have chosen. All of the laws and rules that have been changed, were done on the recommendation of the Special Prosecutor to ensure a conviction. This is a complete set-up for a modern-day John Crow political lynching. I will not be part of that. I have therefore sought protection from another country in accordance with the United Nations Conven tion on Human Rights and the human rights laws of that country, as it is my right to do and the right of any person that is being politically perse cuted. Let be clear. I am not a fugitive, and will never be a fugitive. I have applied for political asylum from another country and I am merely seeking protection from polit ical persecution. I will continue to bring challenges to clear my name and that of my government and colleagues. I dream to return to my homeland as an independent, victorious, proud and free nation. My Brothers and Sisters my prayers continue to be that May God of Jacob, Isaac and Johna protect us and deliver us out of the hands of the Philistines and restore our pride, human rights and democracy so we can resume building a prosperous nation with both political parties con tinuing to make their contri butions as we chart our own course and fulfill our Godgiven destiny. M EXICO CITY A ssociated Press A STRONG 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit central and southern Mexico on Tuesday,d amaging some 800 homes n ear the epicenter and swayi ng tall buildings and spreading fear and panic hundreds of miles away in the capital of Mexico City. One of the strongest to s hake Mexico since the deadl y 1985 temblor that killed thousands in Mexico City, Tuesdays earthquake hit hardest in border area of southern Oaxaca and Guerrero states, where Guerreroo fficial confirmed that some 8 00 homes had been damaged. Hours after the shaking at noon local time (18:06 GMT there were still no reports of death or serious injury, evena fter a less powerful, magnitude-5.1 aftershock was felt i n the capital and several other aftershocks near the epicenter in a mountainous rural region. It was very strong, very substantial, said Campos Benitez, hospital director inO metepec, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the epicen ter. G uerrero Gov Angel Aguirre, who is from Ometepec, was headed there to surv ey the damage and ordered e mergency crews and civil protection to the area to help with the damage. The stated id not say how many were displaced. I n Mexico City, frightened w orkers and residents poured i nto the streets of the capital. Telephone service was down i n the city and throughout the a rea where the quake was felt a nd some neighborhoods were without power, accord ing to Mexico City Mayor M arcelo Ebrard, who set up a hotline for people to report damage. A pedestrian bridge collapsed on an empty transit b us. A bout 40 passengers were s tranded for a short time on the Mexico City airport air train, but later released. Thea irport closed for a time but officials said there was no runway damage and theyr esumed operations. Samantha Rodriguez, a 37y ear old environmental cons ultant, was evacuated from t he 11th floor on the Angel Tower office building. I thought it was going to p ass rapidly but the walls began to thunder and we decided to get out, she said. M exico City, built on a lakebed, was badly damaged i n 1985 when an 8.0 earthq uake killed at least 10,000 p eople. In past years, Guerrero has suffered several severe earth-q uakes, including a 7.9 in 1957 which killed an estimated 68 people, and a 7.4 in 1995w hich left three dead. TOULOUSE, France Associated Press POLICE searched south ern France on Tuesday for an expert gunman suspected of fatally shooting seven people in the head at close range in attacks that may have been motivated by neo-Nazi ties or grudges against minorities. The shooter is suspected of carrying out three deadly attacks: leaving four people dead on Monday at a Jewish school in Toulouse, three of them young children; killing two French paratroopers and seriously wounding another last Thursday in nearby Montauban; and fatally shooting another paratrooper in Toulouse on March 11. All the victims in the school attack were Jewish with duel French-Israeli citizenship, and the paratroopers were of North African or French Caribbean origin. The shots were fired at such close range that the gunfire burned the skin, prosecutor Francois Molins said Tuesday. We are confronted with an individual extremely determined in his actions, an armed individual who acts always with the same modus operan di, he said, in cold blood ... with premeditated actions. He added the crimes appear to be premeditated due to the killers choices of victims and the choices of his targets the army, the for eign origin of the victims or their religion. The killer could act again, he said. Interior Minister Claude Gueant described the suspect as someone very cold, very determined, very much a master of his movements, and by consequence, very cruel. However, his suggestion that the attacker was wearing a cam era around his neck that could be used to film and post video online was described by the prosecutor as a hypothesis. On Tuesday night, the school attack victims were being flown to Israel for bur ial there. PERU has canceled a port call by a British navy frigate in solidarity with Argentina, citing the countrys long-running dispute with Britain over theF alkland Islands. T he frigate HMS Montrose had been scheduled to visit a naval base in Limas El Callao port starting Thursday. Peruvian Foreign Minister Rafael Roncaglioloa nnounced on Monday that the visit had been canceled. This decision has been adopted in the spirit of commitments to Latin American solidarity ... with respect to the legitimate rights of theA rgentine republic in the sovereignty dispute over the islands, Roncagliolo told the state-run Andina newsa gency. The decision came after Argentine news media criticised Perus initial authorisation of the frigates visitd espite tensions between Argentina and Britain ahead o f the 30th anniversary of t heir brief war over the islands. The British Embassy in L ima said in a statement that t he frigate had been scheduled to make a short visit to Peru as part of a routine deployment to the region. Ship visits are a sovereign decision for states, but we r egret that Peru has revoked i ts previous agreement to this visit, the British Embassy said in the statement Mondayn ight. The UK Government remains fully committed to the Falkland islanders right t o self determination. This p osition will not change. VENEZUELAN opposit ion leader Henrique Capriles said Tuesday that he doubts President Hugo Chavezsa ccount of a possible plot against him, and isn't sure whether to view it as a warn ing or a threat. C havez said on Monday night that his government has received word of plans for an a ttack on Capriles, and that the government has offered to help provide security. To tell you honestly, I d ont know whether its a warning or a threat, Capriles said in a televised speech tos upporters in Los Teques, a town located in the hills out side Caracas. C apriles will compete against Chavez in the coun trys Oct 7 presidential vote. H e rejected the presidents offer of security help. Its not about offering security to me. When one is governing, one has to offer security to all people, Capriles said. BACKED by a crushing television ad advantage, Mitt Romney sought a strong Illinois primary victory Tuesday to solidify his lead over Rick Santorum in the battle for the Republican presidential nom ination. It was the latest-in a string of must-win contests for the front-runner. Romney held a second advantage as well, this one inthe competition for Illinois delegates to the party con vention next summer. Santo rum was ineligible for 10 of the 54 at stake after failing to field a full slate. About four in 10 voters interviewed as they left their polling places said they were evangelical or born again. Thats about half the percentage in last weeks pri mary states of Alabama and Mississippi, where Santorum won narrowly. As in other states, the economy was the top-rated issue and an ability to defeat President Barack Oba-ma mattered most to voters. Neither Newt Gingrich nor Ron Paul campaigned exten sively in Illinois, while Rom ney and Santorum exchanged barbs, Romney calling Santorum an economic light weight, while Santorum fired back:If Mitt Romneys an economic heavyweight, were in trouble. A FIREFIGHTER leans against the roof of a damaged mini-bus while standing on the beam that fell from a bridge onto the bus during an earthquake, in Mexico City, yesterday, collapsing at least 60 homes near the epicenter and a pedestrian bridge in the capital where people fled shaking office buildings. There were no passengers in the mini-bus and the driver suffered minor injuries, according to firefighters. 800 HOMES DAMAGED IN MEXICAN EARTHQUAKE Turks and Caicos f or mer pr emier sa ys he will bid to clear name YESTERDA Y The Tribune reported that the government of the T urks and Caicos Islands had obtained a warrant for the arrest of former premier Michael Misick over alleged corruption. T oday, we report a statment received by The Tribune from the former leader, in which he vows to clear his name. FORMER Turks and Caicos premier Michael Misick. FEARS IN FRANCE THAT SCHOOLYARD SHOOTER MAY KILL AGAIN BRITISH FRIGATE TURNED AWAY BY PERU OVER FALKLANDS RIV AL DOUBTS CHAVEZ CLAIM OF PLOT R OMNEY AND S ANT OR UM SL UG IT OUT
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 THE TRIBUNE or financial assistance to those b usiness establishments adversely impacted by the works, Mr Ingraham said. M inistry of Finance employees will visit the busi nesses throughout New Provi dence on roads where major roadwork is being done and their connecting side streets, t o hand out the surveys. Mr Ingraham said the sur veying is expected to last two weeks. The business owners then have one week to complete t he surveys, and gather supporting documents, before the Ministry collects them. I n the weeks to follow, Mr Ingraham said the informa tion will be analysed and decisions made on the assistance to be given. Two weeks ago, Mr Ingra ham told parliamentarians that an independent review would be conducted into the government's administration o f the New Providence Infrastructure Improvement Proj ect (NPIIP described as having been "vexing and torturous" to driv ers. "There is no doubt that the N ew Providence Infrastructure Improvement Project is a major investment of enor m ous benefit to the people of New Providence." Apart from LPIA, it is the largest capital project undertaken by the government. It is m y view, however, that it has been vexing and torturous, a nd so I have determined that it would be appropriate to have an independent review of Government's administration of the project. The report will be made public so that appropriate lessons may be learnt from the experience, and inform public policy in the future," Mr Ingraham said. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e GOV T TO PAY BACK R OAD PROJECT LOSSES P RIMEMINISTER H ubert Ingraham with Carmichael candidate Darron Cash at the opening of the Carmichael constituency office last night. Photos: F elip Major / Tribune Staff P RIMEMINISTER H ubert Ingraham in Carmichael last night. THECROWD cheers at the opening of the constituency office in Carmichael last night. FROM TOP, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, a member of the crowd cheering and candi date Darron Cash.