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MacLean points finger at OBA ministers

Chief Justice Ian Kawaley ruled that Michael MacLean’s full statement be released to the media (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Developer Michael MacLean levels serious accusations of corruption at Craig Cannonier, the former Premier, Michael Fahy, the Home Affairs Minister, and Mark Pettingill, the former Attorney General in his sworn affidavit.

He claims businessman Steven DeCosta approached him soon after the 2012 General Election and said the trio of One Bermuda Alliance ministers would support his Hamilton waterfront plans in return for “bribes” to the tune of millions of dollars.

The allegations are contained in a written affirmation Mr MacLean put before the Supreme Court as part of his legal battle for constitutional damages from the Bermuda Government for voiding his agreements with the Corporation of Hamilton over the waterfront development.

The 16-page statement was submitted to the court on July 2 but has only just been released in full to media organisations after a groundbreaking ruling by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley last week. In it Mr MacLean claims Mr DeCosta “repeatedly” suggested to him that the Government would support his development projects if he paid Mr DeCosta, Mr Cannonier, Mr Pettingill and Sen Fahy “monies”.

“It seemed to me I was deliberately put in a compromising position by Cannonier, Fahy and DeCosta,” he states. “They must have appreciated that without them I ran the risk of losing everything, and for that reason the ground for them to extract personal payment from me in exchange for their support and Government influence was laid.”

Mr MacLean states he was aware that Mr DeCosta’s suggestion “smacked of illegality (possibly corruption).”

“There could be no doubt in the minds of these four individuals that what they were demanding was illegal because in his communications with me DeCosta was reluctant to use Cannonier’s, Fahy’s or Pettingill’s actual name. Instead he gave each of them pseudonyms: Cannonier was “my boy”, Fahy was “the joker” and Pettingill was “the soldier”.”

He further alleges: “The amount DeCosta demanded I pay each of them started at $1 million but that sum was increased over time and, at one point, reached as high as $5 million each.

“As far as Cannonier’s and DeCosta’s money was concerned the suggested plan was to buy a gas station in the United States.

“DeCosta would run the station on behalf of himself and Cannonier and as explained to me by DeCosta, he would bleed the money out of that gas station and let it fail.

“With respect to Fahy’s money, the suggestion was that I pay his cut into his mother’s bank account; she is not Bermudian and was thought to provide sufficient cover for this.

“As far as Pettingill was concerned DeCosta showed me the banking details of an account Pettingill held in the British Virgin Islands, the money was to be paid to that account.”

Mr MacLean claims he made recordings of conversations between himself and Mr DeCosta.

He also claims to have kept private text and WhatsApp messages passing before him and Mr DeCosta, Mr Cannonier and Sen Fahy.

In his affidavit Mr MacLean refers to a series of meetings he says he had with Mr DeCosta and Mr Cannonier, some of which he says took place at Clifton, the Premier’s official residence, about the waterfront and Par-la-Ville developments.

He states: “DeCosta was then very active in arranging meetings between myself, Cannonier, Fahy and Pettingill.

“Some of these meetings were held in Bermuda, and some held overseas, and at times they included potential investors.”

The developer goes on to claim that he was due to receive a large sum of cash that he would then use to pay Mr Cannonier, Sen Fahy and Mr Pettingill $3 million each.

He states: “It was the suggestion of the four individuals themselves that the sum should be $55 million to $60 million for this.

“The plan at the time was for me to receive this sum of money and to pay Cannonier, Fahy, Pettingill and DeCosta $3 million each.

“But it was obvious that if those individuals could have extracted more from me in exchange for brokering such a deal they would have done so.”

• To read Mr MacLean’s affidavit, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.