THE TRAVESTY OF THE NYGARD LEGAL ISSUES

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The Judge in the contempt of court hearing of Peter Nygard, the enigmatic and eccentric billionaire, who has a home in Lyford Cay is Ruth Bowe Darville. After years of supporting and advocating on behalf of the FNM and its various campaigns, actively so at every election in recent times, Ruth Bowe Darville was appointed to the Supreme Court Bench earlier this year. She was appointed two days before her 65th birthday which means that if she wanted to serve as a Judge after that the Prime Minister, an FNM, Hubert Minnis had to agree for her service for another two years until she is 67.  No surprise then that she also got the extension. Mr. Nygard has been locked in a dispute with his neighbour Louis Bacon, another billionaire, and the battle has been the stuff of soap opera, even making the pages of the monthly magazine Vanity Fair. As a result of him being found in contempt, in his absence, there is no chance that he will return to The Bahamas any time soon.  Mr. Bacon had given up on The Bahamas it seems years ago because it appeared that the wind was blowing Mr. Nygard’s way in the court battles.  Fred Smith QC, who appears like a peripatetic jack in the box, in cases where money abounds, represented in the Court that Mr. Nygard ought to be not only found in contempt but punished. The Judge agreed and fined him 150,000 dollars, a 90 jail term, a further penalty of 5.000 per day until he paid if he did not pay the fine within 30 days. This penalty is clearly disproportionate.   The finding of contempt is also wrong in law almost certainly. But let’s remember who Fred Smith is: he is the one who boasted that he paid for the FNM’s campaign to be successful, boasted about how much money he gave out in the election to get them elected.  In these circumstances, Mrs. Bowe Darville should not have heard this case at all.