Friday, Oct 18, 2019
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Internet publisher bailed on libel charges

Days after an alleged fire bombing at his home, Internet publisher Gorman Bannister appeared in court to face criminal charges.

Prosecutors allege Bannister, 64, made false claims about former Cabinet minister Tennyson Wells and his wife, Stephanie, in voice notes disseminated on Facebook and WhatsApp with the intent of exposing them to public hatred and ridicule.

Bannister was further accused of misusing the worldwide web to make more than 30 posts about his Internet nemesis, private investigator Oswald Poitier.

Prosecutors allege that in voice notes released on May 2, 2018, Bannister falsely claimed that Mr. Wells had stolen Caribbean Gas and its storage terminal from his late father, Everette Bannister.

Bannister is also accused of falsely claiming that Mrs. Wells, an attorney, had been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for stealing bearer bonds.

In relation to the charge of misuse of communications, Bannister is accused of making numerous posts on three Facebook pages, his personal page, Black Belt Leaks and Black Belt News to the annoyance of Poitier.

In the various posts, Bannister allegedly posted video and photos of Poitier’s home, suggested that Poitier is a homosexual, pedophile, made degrading comments about his parents and suggested that Poitier commit suicide.

Bannister pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment before Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis.

Rolle-Davis set bail at $1,500 on the misuse of communications charge but denied Bannister bail on the libel cases as he lacked jurisdiction to consider bail.

Poitier, who was in court for the arraignment, appeared pleased on learning that Bannister had been remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

However, Justice Gregory Hilton approved Bannister’s release on $8,000 bail in the afternoon.

Bannister returns to court on September 17.

Early Saturday morning persons unknown reportedly firebombed a vehicle owned by Bannister’s wife, Elizabeth, that was parked in front of their home.

Artesia Davis

Senior Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.
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