In a move that reflects poorly on the justice system in The Bahamas, John Travolta has given up trying to obtain justice in the extortion case he was a victim of in the island nation.
Mr Travolta was denied justice last year after members of the Bahamian legal industry allegedly skewered the extortion trial by setting up a situation that would require the hapless Judge to call a mistrial.
Justice Anita Allen declared a mistrial after PLP MP Picewell Forbes appeared to have announced the results of the jury’s decision… before the jury had concluded deliberation.
Mr Travolta then tried, unsuccessfully, to have the trial moved to the United States.
Locals believe the mistrial situation was “set up” by concerned members of the government and legal fraternity to avoid having a high-ranking member of the Bahamas government go to jail for such a despicable act. Such an event would have further tarnished the reputation of a government already viewed by the international legal community as less than ethical.
Senator Pleasant Bridgewater was charged, along with ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne, with attempting to extort millions of dollars from Mr Travolta. The duo threatened to release, what turned out to be, insignificant documents related to the death of Travolta’s son Jett at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama in 2009.
Bridgewater was a sitting Senator when she committed the alleged crime.
“Having a sitting Senator convicted of such a serious crime would have caused an international PR crisis for the Bahamas. It would also have lent credence to the growing perception that the Bahamas government is mired in corruption,” said one Bahamian attorney who refused to be identified because he would be “blacklisted” by members of the legal profession in Nassau.
Bahamas officials still have the option to file the case again … but it is highly unlikely they will do so. Thus, once again, a victim of crime is denied justice in The Bahamas.