NASSAU – Prime Minister Perry Christie passionately defended his reputation yesterday in the face of repeated claims by Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn that the Prime Minister was allowing Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard to refer to him continuously in disparaging terms.
Christie also again addressed death threats directed at him, which were contained in an affidavit filed by an American investigator on behalf of environmental group Save the Bays (STB) on March 9.
The threat came from one of two “gang members” –– Livingston “Toggie” Bullard and Wisler “Bobo” Davilma –– as they spoke to Nygard in secret video recordings submitted with the STB affidavit.
He told parliament, “my life is not a jokey affair” as he warned that anyone found culpable during the police investigation into claims raised in the STB affidavit would face serious consequences.
At one point Christie asked the Montagu MP: “What are your asking me to do, put a gun to his [Nygard’s] head? What are you asking me to do?”
Lightbourn also alleged that the government “was in bed” with Nygard, claiming that it had done nothing regarding issues with Nygard’s altering of the coastline at his Lyford Cay estate.
However, Christie said the government could not take action in this matter because of an injunction that has been in place for years.
Christie also accused hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, Nygard’s neighbour, of funding a campaign to impugn his character by “perpetuating a lie”. He said this cost the billionaire more than $8.5 million.
“When I informed the House that this matter was the subject of a police investigation I wanted to authenticate this because in those same comments there is reference to me being killed,” Christie said. “Also, Mr Speaker, in those tapes there is reference to people being given money on the basis to kill. I never, Mr Speaker, never allowed myself to accept any derogatory statement about me.
“The record will reflect my position on every ground when this started Mr Speaker so that the member for Montagu would know as a condition of my involving myself with Louis Bacon, Peter Nygard [and] Bobby Kennedy. I required them to withdraw statements that were repugnant to me in an affidavit before the courts.
“I don’t accept anything that is negative [or] insulting about me but I want to authenticate it and I don’t need to say. I have been saying this out here in parliament. I accept parliament’s right to accept it. I reserve my position on all matters because what Bacon said this morning in the papers that he has no hesitation whatsoever. It appears from what he said that I have not been bought. He knows better.
“I am told that their chairman has resigned and he knows why,” Christie said, referring to Michael Pintard.
“I would just say this Mr Speaker; this is subject to a very serious investigation by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. I put it before the police force. I am saying my life, the life of the Prime Minister, this is not a jokey affair in some little childlike debating society going on. We are talking about people’s lives. This is very serious, Mr Speaker, because we have evidence in this country that people kill people.
“The Royal Bahamas Police Force knows every file that I have and is open to investigation. This is not fun and games.
“People will have to account for what they did trust me in this. People will have to account very seriously for what they did and what they didn’t do. This is not jokey. This is at the highest level in this country.”
Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade told The Tribune on Sunday that the probe was progressing and he was satisfied with the grounds that police were covering. He said he did not know when the investigation would be complete.
However he would not say who, if anyone, had been questioned over the last few days.