Culture Minister Charles Maynard has threatened to file a criminal complaint against the operators of the Bahamas Press blog for posting “scandalous lies” about him.
Mr Maynard says he has advised that some of the spurious content posted on the blog may warrant criminal charges, rather than merely a civil libel lawsuit. The minister has apparently gathered evidence and is considering asking the police to launch a criminal investigation into the blog’s content.
“We have proof that it’s done by Bahamians locally this is not one of these things where police can say they don’t know who they are. And I’ve gotten advice that some of the things they’ve done are criminal – it’s more than allegations. My understanding is that it is criminal libel not just civil,” Maynard said.
The blog, know for its attacks on FNM politicians, has been taking potshots at Maynard for some time, calling him childish names and making fun of his rotund physique.
But recently the tone of the blog got nastier and the accusations became more personal than political, alleging that the minister has engaged in extra-marital affairs and benefited from alleged criminal proceeds passed down to him by his father, Andrew “Dud” Maynard, a former PLP chairman.
Maynard, an affable fellow who appears to be doing a good job as Culture Minister, said he did not think he had legal recourse to sue the bloggers for character defamation because of lax laws pertaining to the Internet in The Bahamas.
But, enough is enough, he now says, explaining that someone must take a stand against defamatory content posted on the Internet.
“At some point I am going to report it all to the police because it’s all out there,” said the Cabinet minister. “Somebody has got to stop it – at one point somebody needs to set a standard that kind of political (strategy) has no use in this country,” he said, adding that the blog has “waged all out war” on him.
Below, you will find a link to a related article, an editorial in the Tribune, basically telling Minister Maynard to take action if the accusations against him are false.