MP Blasts AG's Office for Incompetence
What does it say about the Bahamas' legal system when a Cabinet Official says he doesn't trust an A/G prosecutor to handle a murder case competently?
Cabinet Minister Leslie Miller is said to be outraged with Attorney General Alfred Sears' handling of the case of his late murdered son, Mario Miller.
The trial of two Androsian brothers accused of murdering Mario Miller is due to begin today in the Supreme Court.
The PUNCH newspeper reports that Miller, the PLP MP for the Blue Hills consitutency, had previously asked the Government to appoint a private prosecutor, rather than having an attorney from the A/G's office represent the Crown in the murder trial of his son.
Miller reportedly said he didn't trust an A/G prosecutor to handle the case competently.
The paper says Prime Minister Perry Christie and his Cabinet reportedly approved the hiring of hot-shot lawyer Wayne Munroe do prosecute the Mario Miller murder case. But A/G Sears has over-ridden the Cabinet's decision and appointed A/G prosecutors Bernard Turner and Neil Braithwaite to the Mario case.
Now, Miller is reportedly furious with AG Sears for rejecting his private prosecutor request. Miller is reported to have said that he will be watching the case closely to see if Turner and Braithwaite "do a good job". Meanwhle, lawyer Munroe, a partner of Lockhart & Munroe, is also upset.
He apparently cleared his calendar for the trial on the understanding that he would earn $75,000 from the Government for prosecuting the case.
The PUNCH reports that Munroe is prepared to sue the Government to compensate him for loss of business after Sears decided at the last minute not to give him the private prosecution job.
Four men were originally charged with murdering Mario Miller. But charges were dropped against two of them. Brothers Larnar Lee (aka Ricardo Miller) and Ryan Miller will stand trial for Mario's murder, which police said was drug-related. Darryl Bartlett Jr., son of A/G lawyer A1bertha Bartlett, was charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine in the Mario Miller murder case. But pilot Bartlett was acquitted of the charges.
However, not long ago, an angry Trade Minister Miller told MPs in the House that he felt Darryl Bartlett should be re-arrested in the murder case of his son Mario. And Miller also called on A/G Sears to suspend Albertha Bartlett - a close relative of ex-PLP DPM Arthur Hanna and Transport Minister Glenys Hanna - from her duties at the A/G's Office. Mrs. Bartlett has been reinstated after being suspended for poor handling of A/G court cases.
Her son, Darryl Bartlett, was also caught up in the case of an aircraft being stolen from Nassau Airport. Pilot Bartlett was charged along with two others in the stolen plane matter. But the three men were all acquitted on a technicality due to a blunder in the type of charges filed by cops.
The plane was removed illegally from Nassau Airport, flown to Cayman, and returned to the airport. Charter plane company owner Beverly Lewis was quizzed by cops about the plane's flight plan. No charges were pressed against Mrs. Lewis.
PM Christie shocked mourners at Mario Miller's funeral. The PM revealed in his funeral speech that drug-tainted Mario had turned down a request by the PM to run for the PLP in Montagu in the May 2002 election.
Source: The PUNCH, Nassau Bahamas