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Munroe: Time police taking to probe claim against MP not excessive

The length of time it is taking police to investigate an allegation made by a woman against North Abaco MP Kirk Cornish is not “excessive”, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe said yesterday.

“As far as I listened to the remarks by ACP [Bernard] Bonamy, he said they were investigating it,” Munroe said.

“He set out what they were investigating.

“The time frame for the investigation, given the time between when the event was said to happen and when the report was made, in my years at the bar is not excessive.”

On May 14, Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said police were wrapping up their investigation into the woman’s allegation and planned to soon forward the file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice and consultations.

Cornish turned himself into police for questioning on April 27. He was released later that day.

Police have not detailed the nature of the allegation made against Cornish.

The woman made the complaint in early April.

Speaking on the issue of the length of an investigation, Munroe said, “The time that investigations take is driven less than by who you are than by the facts of a matter.

“So, if you have an allegation of … tourists with these spring break things, they say they were raped. They come immediately to the police station. They are carried to the hospital. All of that happens in a short compass. Whether the person in that instance is rich, powerful, or famous doesn’t really matter.”

He said, “The longer it takes for you to come forward then the more period of time that the police are investigating. That just stands to reason.

“So, if you are making a complaint a month later, they have to investigate your interactions and communications over that month.

“That takes longer than investigating your interactions and communications over one hour.”

When he last spoke to The Nassau Guardian on this matter, the commissioner of police said police were being careful in the investigation, noting that the alleged incident was not immediately reported to police.

Asked to respond to concerns some observers have that police are not handling the matter seriously, the commissioner said there is absolutely no truth to that.

“This was a matter that was reported to us and it is alleged the different times that it happened prior to the matter being reported, so we want to look at all the avenues. We want to look at all avenues to dot [the i’s] and cross the t’s,” Fernander said.

Cornish is a first-time MP. He received 42 percent of the votes in North Abaco in the September 2021 general election.

After that election, the prime minister appointed him parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.

There is no legal requirement for him to resign from the House of Assembly due to an ongoing police investigation.