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Bahamas: Smith to govt: Let BPC fight its own battles

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Attorney Fred Smith, QC, yesterday urged the government to cooperate and ensure a quick judgment from the Supreme Court regarding the filing for judicial review of oil drilling in The Bahamas.

A Supreme Court judge will hear submissions from the government and lawyers of environmentalists on an application for judicial review of the approvals concerning Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) exploratory oil drilling, which began last week.

Smith, who represents the environmentalists, told Eyewitness News the matter is “an extremely important public interest case”.

“I urge the government, given that the prime minister has said that he is against oil drilling, to cooperate in having a quick judgment from the Supreme Court,” he said.

Smith accused the government of wasting money unnecessarily and judicial time, having hired a British QC for the case.

“Instead of wasting money and time fighting Fred Smith, they should look at how important the issues are and they cooperate and fast-track it to an early trial,” he said.

“They may as well change the name of the government to the BPC government instead of the Bahamian government. They should leave BPC to fight its own fight. Unfortunately, they are not.”

Smith added: “The case is very simple; we are asking the court to determine whether BPC and the government properly consulted and whether or not they have the proper permits.

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