Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Smith Asks Court For Adjournment Due to Pain in Oil Drilling Case

The Supreme Court was expected to hear the matter involving lawyers fighting and defending the exploratory drilling by Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC, today.

However, it was adjourned after Fred Smith QC, who represents the environmental groups, Waterkeeper Bahamas Ltd and Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, said he was in pain due to an injury he suffered last year. Smith dislocated and shattered his left ankle, broke his left tibia, dislocated and sliced his right ankle, and broke two vertebrae while paragliding in the Dolomite mountains of the Italian Alps in 2019.

Why it matters

Bahamas Petroleum Company has begun drilling for oil just 40 miles of Andros. The exploratory drilling has faced major opposition from environmentalists who argue that the drilling risk harming the country’s marine environment.

Justice Petra Hanna-Adderley was to hear if BPC should be allowed to continue the oil drilling.

Attorneys for BPC is skeptical of Smith

Though Counsel for the BPC did not object to an adjournment, they questioned Smith’s motive, expressing concern that Smith may use the time to file more paperwork to help his case.

But Smith responded, “This is not a trick I am attempting to pull off to file more documents.”

But he did say that during the proceedings other matters may arise, adding that the main documents for the judicial review application have already been filed.

The parties will return to the Supreme Court for adjournment at 10 am Wednesday.

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