Attorney General Mark Pettingill said: “That’s the whole plan of the Opposition. This Opposition Leader and this Opposition are only interested in one thing and that’s being the Government again — Their venom and their bitterness at the fact that they lost comes out time and time again — don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. I’ve been slandered, time and time again and called into question with regard to things — It’s tiresome. It doesn’t do the country any good." *Bermuda Sun file photo
Attorney General Mark Pettingill said: “That’s the whole plan of the Opposition. This Opposition Leader and this Opposition are only interested in one thing and that’s being the Government again — Their venom and their bitterness at the fact that they lost comes out time and time again — don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. I’ve been slandered, time and time again and called into question with regard to things — It’s tiresome. It doesn’t do the country any good." *Bermuda Sun file photo

Attorney General Mark Pettingill fired back at allegations from Opposition Leader Marc Bean that he had been offered a bribe to allow a developer to get a casino in Bermuda.

Mr Bean had also alleged that Premier Cannonier told him that besides Mr Pettingill, Mr Cannonier and Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell had also been offered bribes by the same company.

The AG said the Opposition Leader’s comments were “damaging to Bermuda” and “sickening”.

Mr Pettingill said while the previous PLP Government may have granted a licence to a would-be developer without an independent body looking over the deal, that was not the case with the OBA.

He said: “It would make absolutely no sense, whatsoever, for that to be the case.

“The previous Government, when they granted a lease to the developer of the Club Med site, included in that lease a provision that would allow him to have a licence if the Government would eventually allow for gaming.

Mr Pettingill said when the OBA came into power and he was able to review the Club Med lease that caused him concern.

“A Government, or members of a Government, should never be involved in granting a casino licence to anybody.”

He said that is part of the reason the OBA, is setting up the law for the granting of casino gambling licence’s in Bermuda that only an independent regulatory authority will be able to grant licences to casino operators.

He said this “rubbishes” any type of claim that the Premier, tourism minister and the AG, could grant a deal to a potential developer that they would get a casino gambling licence.

He added: “That may have been done by the previous administration, in fact, it was, because it was written into the lease. I ensured that type of thing could really never happen again. That’s why we’re crafting the law and the regulations, the way that we are so that you have an independent regulatory authority.

“In my view, that entirely nonsenses — rubbishes — that type of position that the Premier would come along and make that type of statement, which, on the basis of any sensible fact, could not be the truth.

“I find it ironic that the three guys that were in the room, heard what the Opposition Leader had to say… that those were the three guys that are supposedly involved in some type of payment.

“This is absolutely lunacy and it’s got to stop."

The AG said the allegations of being offered a bribe for a casino now undermine the credibility of the process of granting licences because it puts a fear into people’s minds.

“That’s the whole plan of the Opposition. This Opposition Leader and this Opposition are only interested in one thing and that’s being the Government again — Their venom and their bitterness at the fact that they lost comes out time and time again — don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. I’ve been slandered, time and time again and called into question with regard to things — It’s tiresome. It doesn’t do the country any good.

“It doesn’t do the country any good to go on the Caribbean News Network and do the things they’re doing.

“They’re damaging Bermuda. This is damaging Bermuda for the sake of someone’s ego; for protecting his own position. He’s damaging the country and it’s sickening; it’s sickening.