Nassau, Bahamas – The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) wishes to respond to the Nassau Guardian’s editorial of Thursday 28 May 2015, under the caption “The Attorney General seems timid in BEC bribery probe”, in which it is asserted that the OAG and the Attorney-General ex officio are either disinterested in and/or are not taking sufficient steps to progress the investigation into the BEC matter.
These allegations are clearly unfounded.This matter has received the appropriate attention and priority that it merits not only from the OAG, but from the other law enforcement officials and authorities who have a role to play in its investigation. The Office of the Attorney-General and the relevant law enforcement officials take very seriously the allegation that an official from Alstom paid bribes to a Bahamian official to influence the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (“BEC”) to award contract(s) to Alstom.
In this regard, the Office of the Attorney-General and the Royal Bahamas Police Force continue to work closely together, and with the assistance of the relevant United States of America’s Authorities, to thoroughly conduct an investigation to determine whether an offence has been committed in The Bahamas. The fact is that matters such as the current one raise complex issues of fact and law, including cross-jurisdictional issues, which require careful investigation to determine whether the evidence gathered locally can sustain a prosecution.
The fact that United States legal officials have supplied information to The Bahamas on the BEC matter, including naming a person alleged in the United States’ proceedings to have received a bribe, does not automatically mean that a matter is ready for prosecution in this jurisdiction. The United States’ investigation of Alstom took many years, ultimately leading to charges and a plea arrangement in the United States
Every effort continues to be made to ensure that the investigation and any potential prosecution in The Bahamas are not compromised.
Thank you for your understanding.