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CONCERNS that the Government's Business Licence reforms were causing the private sector "a great magnitude of uncertainty" were raised yesterday, one attorney telling Tribune Business that the ability to suspend or revoke a firm's licence "for other good cause" was too vague, especially in the absence of a clearly defined appeals process.
Disgruntled investors have told the Canadian government that "the Bahamas justice system appears to be stuck in neutral" in handling their complaints over a $52 million real estate development, blasting perceived 'inaction' by both the current and former administrations.
Afriend and former colleague of murdered charity worker Nellie Mae Brown-Cox said yesterday justice was served after a jury found contractor Prince Hepburn guilty of her 2011 murder.
The 12-member panel rejected the defense's argument that Hepburn had a "temporary psychotic break", after learning of Brown-Cox's alleged infidelity, which led him to hack her to death with a cutlass.
Linda LaFleur, treasurer of the Bahamas Heart Association, said she hoped the verdict would bring closure for Brown- Cox's family and friends.
"We were hearing all during the trial that they would get him off for insanity and stuff like that," said LaFleur at her office on West Bay Street.
"We were hearing all these different views that the lawyers were coming up with and you always have that in the back of your mind.
"I always felt that justice would have been served, and today my feelings came to fruition that justice was duly served."
Brown-Cox's family, including her estranged husband, were present at yesterday's hearing. However, the family did not speak to the press about the conviction.
LaFleur said she hoped Brown-Cox's two adult daughters would be able to get past her murder.
"I am happy for them," she said.
"Now they can really put some closure to this and get on with their lives because they had this hanging over them for the last two years.
"It was really terrible. They couldn't really move on, so now that this is behind them, it will take them a little while... but they can move on and try to make something of themselves because they have big shoes to fill."
LaFleur said she will remember the victim as a gogetter who was full of life. She added that the way Brown- Cox was portrayed after her death was at odds with the woman she knew.
Brown-Cox was president of the Bahamas Heart Association at the time of her murder.
"She was a person that was full of life and she was a gogetter,"LaFleur said. "She liked to make things happen and get things done. Once she put her mind to it there was nothing to stop her. She would get it done.
"She was really fun to work with and during her presidency a lot of things happened.
"You didn't know that person that they tried to paint such an awful picture about. So I never even went on the computer to try to look because I didn't want to see. I didn't want to besmirch my images of her."
Brown-Cox and Hepburn, who dated for five years, were estranged from their respective spouses.
Hepburn became depressed after learning that Brown-Cox was cheating on him with a man who lived in the United States, according to evidence presented at trial.
Shortly after the murder, crime scene photos showing Brown-Cox's injuries spread over the Internet.
Brown-Cox was killed between April 6 and April 7, 2011.
Hepburn will be sentenced on May 22.
Prosecutor Franklyn Williams said yesterday the Crown will not seek the death penalty.
Hepburn's attorney, Murrio Ducille, plans to appeal the conviction.
After a man was acquitted in the Supreme Court of an Eleuthera home-invasion and murder, relatives of the 66-year-old female victim are blaming the police’s “sloppy investigation” for the fact that her killer is still at large. Speaking to The Tribune after 47-year-old Livingston...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A GRAND BAHAMA-BASED employer is today set to have 'make or break' talks with the island's monopoly power supplier in a last-ditch bid to save 60 jobs, telling Tribune Business it could not see how Freeport "can ever recover from this disaster" as it relates to power costs.
Stephen Howes, the major shareholder in Queen's Highway-based Fenestration and Glass services, in an e-mail sent to this newspaper said the company had slimmed its workforce considerably since its 300-strong maximum.
Pointing out that Gregory Moss, the attorney and PLP candidate for Marco City was incorrect in stating that Fenestration had completely shut ...
The Government was yesterday urged to publicly commit to, and give a timeline for, completing financial services regulatory reform, a leading attorney warning it would be "a major mistake" not to complete the process.
Brian Moree, senior partner at McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes, told Tribune Business he feared that the relative success enjoyed in physically consolidating the Securities Commission, Compliance Commission and Insurance Commission into one building could encourage the Government to not proceed with the final step.
This would involve either merging the three into either one 'super regulator', together with the Central B ...
THE five most influential women in the Bahamas were identified by the US Embassy in a cable released by Wikileaks yesterday.
They are: Tribune publisher Eileen Dupuch Carron, Court of Appeal president Joan Sawyer, former Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia "Mother" Pratt, former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson and domestic violence victims' advocate Sandra Dean-Patterson.
In the 2007 cable Mrs Pratt, current Progressive Liberal Party MP for St Cecilia, was chosen because of her position as deputy prime minister and minister of national security within the Christie administration.
Last night Mrs Pratt said she was grateful to be on the list.
"It was an honour to serve, most ...
While several prominent female politicians have come out in support of gender equality, former Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia "Mother" Pratt said she has not given the referendum any consideration as yet.
"I haven't given it any consideration yet," said Pratt when asked if she plans to vote in the November 6 referendum. "I haven't been listening to Parliament. I've retired and I meant that."
When asked if she supports gender equality, Pratt said there should not be any form of gender discrimination in the work place.
"This is all I'm going to say; if a women qualifies for a position pay her, her value, just as you would a man," said Pratt, co-chair of the Urban Renewal Commission.
"If she can do a job, why not? There is no gender in who can do the job. If it can be done by a female or a male, once they are qualified and they can do the job, why not?"
Pratt's comments come as widespread debate on the referendum continues. Over the past several weeks, several members of Parliament, lawyers and religious leaders have expressed concern that the fourth constitutional amendment bill is too vague and could be used in support of challenges for same-sex marriages.
That bill would make it unconstitutional to discriminate against someone based on sex.
In an effort to allay some of those fears, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) female parliamentarians recently announced the start of a campaign in support of gender equality.
Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin, Minister of State for Transport and Aviation Hope Strachan, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cleola Hamilton and Senator Cheryl Bazard are heading the campaign.
Hanna-Martin said the women are "anxious" to make gender equality a reality and will seek to keep the debate focused on the issue.
"There is a concern that there are a number of extraneous matters that are creeping into a fundamental debate, which is dealing with a very singular issue.
"It is the ideal that men and women under God's sight are equal and under our constitution that we ought to be viewed equally."
Hanna-Martin said the group intends to create a vibrant ground campaign to pursue the equality issue.
In the two weeks since that announcement, there has not yet been any evidence of such a campaign, however.
Members of the House of Assembly were expected to vote on the bills earlier this week. However, that process was delayed in order to allow members of the religious community to weigh in on the bills before they are amended.
Bill number one seeks to give a child born outside The Bahamas to a Bahamian-born mother and non-Bahamian father the same automatic right to Bahamian citizenship that the constitution already gives to a child born outside The Bahamas to a Bahamian-born father and a non-Bahamian mother.
The second bill seeks to enable a Bahamian woman who marries a foreign man the right to secure the same access to Bahamian citizenship that a Bahamian man enjoys.
Bill number three would reverse the law that prohibits an unwed Bahamian man from passing his citizenship to his child if he or she is born to a foreign woman.
The government proposes to amend bill number four to add the definition of the word "sex" to ensure it is not open for other interpretation.
The four bills must, in each instance, be approved by at least three-quarters of the House and Senate.
Following passage by the Senate, the bills must be approved by a majority of voters in a referendum if the constitution is to be amended.
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
BAHAMAS Customs was yesterday accused of "putting another nail in the coffin of Freeport's" $70-$120 million bonded goods economy, a leading attorney describing the terms it was setting as a "bureaucratic perversion" that would cause "commercial constipation".
Fred Smith QC, attorney and partner at Callender's & Co, said the minute he or his companies received a letter from Customs requiring them to provide it with a list of all 2011 bonded goods purchases, in order to have the same duty-free privileges renewed in 20102, he would launch Judicial Review proceedings.
Describing the pre-conditions set by Customs as & ...