Nassau, Bahamas — Bahamas Press has learnt that on Friday past, Herculian Attorney and master strategist, Keod Smith, former Ambassador for the Environment and Chairman of the BEST Commission under the PLP-Christie Administration, on behalf of Terry Bain of Farmer’s Cay, 18-year long official spokesperson for environmental group; Save the Exuma Park known as STEP, filed an action in the Supreme Court for judicial review of the decision of Earl “Helicopter Earl” Deveaux, Minister for the Environment, Michael Major, Director of the Department of Physical Planning and the Bahamas National Trust, to approve the proposed dredging at Bell Island by the Aga Khan.
The court action also seeks an injunction in the meantime to prevent the dredging from commencing until the matter is finally determined by the Courts. The main trust of the action is that the decision of Helicopter Earl and others was ILLEGAL and outside the scope of their statutory powers.
Based on what has been filed, BP believes that this strategic move led by Keod Smith, will further show that Helicopter Earl is the most openly and unashamed corrupt politician that has ever sat in the Cabinet of The Bahamas, out-done only by his biggest public endorser, HAI.
Studying the Gazetted Portfolio of Cabinet Ministers, BP now believes that Helicopter Earl, as Minister responsible for relations with the Bahamas National Trust and therefore the Government official responsible for approving tax payer’s money to be paid to the Trust annually to cover its operation, used that power over them to strong-arm them into signing-off on the dredging of the same Island in the Exuma Land and Sea Park that they refused to grant to the previous owner for a lower impact project just a few years ago because it was in the Park and was a thriving natural habitat for protected creatures on land and sea.
Perhaps the helicopter ride is only the tip of the iceberg of benefits and advantages received by Helicopter Earl and his Endorser, as they gear up for General Elections-2012.
In this regard, BP has learnt that the better half of Helicopter Earl, is alleged to have carried out public relations work for the Trust. We also know Helicopter Earl’s bestest friend, Attorney Pericles Maillis, who has been caught up in another “corruption” scandal involving Helicopter Earl and Louis Bacon, is the Attorney for the Trust who has publicly stated that he now approves of the dredging proposed by the Aga Khan.
Remember that from the debate in the Senate on the amendment of Bahamas National Trust Act, it was revealed that Louis Bacon, the Lyford Cay Hedge Fund billionaire, in an attempt to legitimize an illegally built boat basin on his property in Lyford Cay, was able to get a back-dated permit from Michael Major, Director of the Department of Physical Planning which falls under the portfolio of guest who; Helicopter Earl.
From what BP has learnt, because of the blows being put on Louis Bacon by no-nonsense Keod Smith in exposing Louis Bacon’s connection with Helicopter Earl and his involvement what Smith has described on more than one occasion in the public domain, as being imprisonable offences,
Bacon is trying to high-tail out of The Bahamas for fear that he may be arrested by the police for those offences. But tenacious Smith has now taken steps to stop him from trying to sell his Lyford Cay home and get away like a thief in the night with a windfall of millions of dollars because of his illegal construction and cold-hearted intention of leaving an unsuspecting new owner, holding the bag.
By the way, guess who is one of the key Attorneys of Louis Bacon in The Bahamas; you guessed it right, Pericles Maillis, the bestest friend of Helicopter Earl.
Anyway, back to the main story, BP has now seen the long awaited Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the website of the BEST Commission (www.best.bs). Guest what? It is dated March 2010 but revised in February 2011. Suspiciously, the March 2010 version is not, and cannot be said to ever having been posted. Afterall, the BEST Commission describes it has being “new”.
The pressure put on Helicopter Earl, the BNT and the Aga Khan, made them buckle and forced to come clean and tell the truth. With what is now made available to the public by the EIA and EMP, BP can comfortably say that Terry Bain and Keod Smith were telling the truth in their campaign to expose the players of this project as being corrupt.
The pond that is being proposed to be excavated and destroyed, is alive and teaming with wild-life. Additionally, from the EIA, it is clear that the development is designed to be a commercial enterprise which BP understands is prohibited for the Exuma Land and Sea Park.
It also leaves BP questioning the integrity of the Aga Khan himself. Afterall, he was being touted as an environmental conservationist, but now is seen as being the opposite. He cannot convince BP that having a 20 slip marina to accommodate 150-feet long yachts is for his private residence.
What makes this very troubling is that the EIA was being purposefully withheld for such a long time, if indeed it was produced with they say it was. Then, along with the EMP totaling 368 highly technical pages, it is placed on the website of an obscure government agency without any public notice. Guess they were expecting this to be so overwhelming, that those who object would not have sufficient time to launch a meaningful fight. The time within which the action could be brought before the Courts, would have ran out on the 20th March, 2011.
This goes to show that people power is crucial in these instances.
In the meantime, we are told that the people of mainland Exuma, the Cays and even from Nassau, are getting ready for the show-down with the Aga Khan and his dredgers on the shoreline of Bell Island and the surrounding sea. Boy-oh-boy, what a time that will be!!!
Standby as this story unfolds. BP will keep you informed….