Statement From The Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party
On New York Times Article On Peter Nygard
For Immediate Release
24 February 2020
This is a message to all PLP members, supporters of the progressive cause and Bahamians of goodwill. The New York Times published an article on Sunday 23 February 2020 about the lawsuit against Peter Nygard, a wealthy resident of Lyford Cay, which the local press has been seeking to use to smear the PLP.
In our view the particular article in The Times comes as close as we have seen to objective reporting. It is clear from that article that this is a fight in the nature of a vendetta between two billionaires in Lyford Cay. The Progressive Liberal Party and The Bahamas are simply collateral damage in this wider dispute.
It is also clear that the lawsuit and the attempt to conflate political donations to the PLP is part of an orchestrated campaign by monies provided through companies associated with Louis Bacon, the Lyford Cay billionaire who dislikes Mr Nygard.
The article confirms the involvement of Fred Smith Q C. It also confirms that millions of dollars were funnelled toward manipulating various accusations against the PLP in an attempt to get at Mr. Nygard.
Here are some of the sums listed in the Times article that funded the manipulation of the present law suit:
$1.5 million dollars dirty tricks campaign
$6 million Texas Security Firm
$60k for yearly rent in Nassau gated community for young woman who coached potential witnesses and claimants.
$500 per week to same person
$2k per month to another young woman who ensured witnesses were paid something for talking to investigators.
Dollars to former FBI and Scotland Yard et al on Bacon’s investigations team.
$150 – 350 to two sister claimants who dropped their involvement when the money stopped. The article indicates they were coached to make the statements and once the funding stopped, they recanted their statements
$9k Cartier jewelry for witness immediately after giving a story.
Dollars for relocating to, and housing witnesses in, the United States.
We remind PLPs that this matter came first to the attention of the House of Assembly when a whistle blower connected with the Save The Bays phony environmental group revealed to the PLP that some eight million dollars or so were funnelled through that organization to destabilize the PLP as opposed to them confining themselves to their charitable objectives.
The work of the Times journalists tends to confirm that pattern of conduct. The article also says that the coaching affects the credibility of the allegations.
The article confirms that there is no connection between any politician and the trafficking allegations.
The issue tied to the money is that this is how wealthy foreign money distorts information and manipulates vulnerable Bahamians during election campaigning.
The FNM may have the means to compete with this level of funding but the PLP does not; and it is dangerous. It is a corrupting destructive influence on the Bahamian people and our democracy.
We have heard the narrative of how the Nygard allegations look bad on the reputation of The Bahamas and the narrative about concerns for victims. However, no one of account in Government or any media house has sought to generate a commitment to safeguarding the Rule of Law in our campaign process.
We have also not seen a commitment to safeguarding the Rule of Law through the work of NGOs in The Bahamas or through investigative journalism that has the integrity and vigour to put a check on the putrid work of social media propaganda by those with the money to overwhelm a small, vulnerable and largely young public.
It is interesting that the fanfare around the original story written as an attack on the PLP by The Tribune is not repeated when the truth comes out in the New York Times article.
One of the local press has called for a Commission of Inquiry into the allegations in the writ. The PLP does not believe there is any need for such a commission. What is needed is a commission to investigate Save The Bays, Fred Smith Q C, and the monies supplied by the Bacon interests and whether or not Save The Bays acted within the confines of its charitable mandate.
The NYTIMES link: