Earlier this year the Prime Minister of Trinidad fired both The Attorney General and the Minister of National Security over allegations of witness tampering.
In the Bahamas, it seems members of the Government are untouchable. I honestly don’t know what they would have to do to be fired. Perhaps commit murder on the steps of parliament.
This is on my mind because of the revelation that V. Alfred Gray interfered with a matter before the courts in his constituency.
In a recent article called crossing the line, Candia Dames writes,
Gray has admitted that he told Mayaguana Administrator Zephaniah Newbold, the local magistrate, that he could release a man convicted of a crime on bail.
Gray said, as far as he knows, Newbold did just that after their conversation.
Mr Gray doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but it is very much so a big deal. Here’s why;
- If Mr. Gray could influence a Magistrate in his constituency to grant bail, couldn’t he just as easily influence him to deny it?
- Would it be a stretch, to think he could influence him to convict someone as well?
- If I’m a political opponent of Mr Gray’s or a supporter of his opponent, how confident am I going before a magistrate who can be unduly influenced by Mr. Gray or other political representatives?
We have three independent branches of government in The Bahamas with constitutionally defined powers and responsibilities: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
There is a separation to ensure checks and balances exist between these centers of authority. When power is concentrated in the hands of one group, or one individual, tyranny results.
I’m sure Mr. Gray would say that it was never his intention to pervert the course of justice and that he would never try to use his position of power to influence the outcome of a case before the courts.
Nevertheless that’s what has happened, and intentional or not he must face the consequences.
By his actions he has called into question the foundation of the law in The Bahamas; that it is blind, independent and impartial.
If anyone deserves to be fired it should be The Honorable V. Alfred Gray or maybe he should do the honorable thing and resign.
Unfortunately, it seems our Prime Minister isn’t made of the same stuff as the Prime Minister of Trinidad, so it is unlikely that he will act. Instead he is more likely to take his usual course of action; brazen it out and hope the public forgets.
Or better yet, start talking about Illegal Immigration/Gender Equality to distract the people.
Do You Think Mr. Gray Should Resign?