LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON KEN DORSETT
Message from The Hon. Philip Brave Davis MP
Leader of the PLP
To Party Supporters On The Reported Arrest Of Former MP Kenred Dorsett
13 July 2017
By Voice Note
I wish to speak directly to members of the Progressive Liberal Party today on the reported arrest of our friend and colleague and former minister Kenred Dorsett.
You will wake up to screaming headlines and allegations, charges and counter charges. You will be exposed during the coming days to angry exchanges and slurs. Please do not be provoked. Please stand strong.
We pray for our friend and brother Ken, and his family this morning. We urge the authorities to ensure that justice is done in this case and that this is not some witch hunt, working a specific playbook, formed during an election campaign.
I wish you to bear in mind what I have just said.
You see when you look back at what the Free National Movement has done in all its previous terms in government, rather than concentrate on improving the economy and providing jobs for the country, they engage in victor’s justice and vengeance politics. They stop, review and cancel programmes left in place by the previous PLP government without any logical justification. They dismiss people at the bottom of the ladder from their employment with the government who are helpless and are unable to defend themselves. They utilise the power of the state to bring people before the courts and into police stations, with little to show and often engendering hatred that lasts for a life time.
I would have thought that they learned from their previous lessons. Alas the early signs are not good.
Over the past week, the PLP has sought to caution the new government to get to the work of governance.
Now we have this arrest. The Attorney General should only bring charges if there is cogent, probative evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, such evidence lawfully obtained without pressure, promise of advantage or threats. We await the disposition of our justice system in that regard.
What we know is that the Attorney General made a statement in the Senate proclaiming himself as a Minister of Justice; that nothing that he saw amounted to criminal matters. A few days later he resiled from that position following attacks from his own FNM partisans about his stand. This action must also be seen against the background of the Prime Minister himself announcing corruption allegations from the floor of the House and proclaiming quite extraordinarily his country as a cauldron of corruption at a recent international forum. Now we have the arrest of a former government minister. So are we dealing with a self-fulfilling prophecy?
This does not bode well.
I remind everyone that the conventions of our constitution are that each minister bears responsibility for their personal conduct in office. Mr. Dorsett understands that more than most, having been trained as a lawyer. He denies these allegations and promises to defend them vigorously. We are pledged to support him with the best counsel available. In our system, the crown must prove guilt. Mr. Dorsett has nothing to prove.
Further given all that has happened, is it possible to obtain a fair trial within this jurisdiction?
The problem here is win lose or draw, the state has now effectively working with our local press ruined a man’s reputation.
Let us pray for him and is family.
From time to time I will use this and other fora to keep you abreast.
Thank you all. Please spread this message to other PLPs. We must remain strong. We are not a corrupt organization. We do not support corruption in any form. The events now before us are designed to sap the will of PLPS and to destroy the party. I urge you to stand strong and with God’s help we will prevail.
God bless you all.
Bless the Progressive Liberal Party
God Bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas