Former Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson yesterday learned the name of the new judge who will preside over his corruption trial, but still doesn’t know the date.
Justice Indra Charles, who had previously scheduled the trial for September 23, suddenly stepped down from Gibson’s bribery trial on May 8, citing conflicts with her busy civil calendar.
Gibson appeared before Justice Bernard Turner, who assigned the matter to Justice Carolita Bethell.
Turner initially set a fixture hearing before Bethell for May 31, but Gibson, through his lawyer, Damian Gomez, QC, said that he wouldn’t be available on that date because he was scheduled to have surgery.
Turner then adjourned the matter to June 11 at 9:30 a.m.
Prosecutors allege that Gibson solicited bribes from contractor Jonathan Ash in order to expedite payments related to clean-up efforts following Hurricane Matthew.
In September 2018, Gibson’s legal team of Edward Fitzgerald, QC, Anthony McKinney, QC, and Owen Wells sought to have the voluntary bill of indictment quashed after filing a constitutional motion that alleged “prosecutorial misconduct had rendered a fair trial impossible”.
Charles dismissed the motion in March and fixed a trial date.
Damian Gomez, QC, said that there was no intention to appeal Charles’ decision for the trial to continue.
Terry Archer and Destiny McKinney appeared for the Crown.