Attorney General Ryan Pinder insisted yesterday that there was nothing sinister about the decision to drop the case against former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Cabinet Minister Kenred Dorsett, who was arraigned in 2017 on corruption charges.
“There is nothing nefarious in the whole Shane Gibson matter,” said Pinder in the Senate.
“And there is nothing nefarious in the nolle prosequi of Kenred Dorsett. I didn’t make that decision. The prosecutor made that decision.
“The prosecutor made that decision because the key witness in the case refused to testify without being paid. And this government does not pay for testimony.”
Pinder addressed the matter in response to Opposition Senator Reuben Rahming, who raised the issue.
Rahming noted that the nolle came after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Garvin Gaskin went on leave and Franklyn Williams became acting DPP.
Under the Minnis administration, Gibson and Dorsett, both former PLP Cabinet ministers, were charged with abusing their offices for financial gain in separate matters.
Gibson was acquitted of 15 counts of bribery in 2019. He had been accused of receiving $280,000 from contractor Jonathan Ash in exchange for approving payments totaling $1 million for work done following the cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
Dorsett was also charged with extorting $120,000 from Ash.
Last month, the government reached a $2.5 million settlement with Gibson, who alleged that he was falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted.
The Dorsett case was also dropped last month.
In a statement on the matter, Williams said Ash indicated his intention not to testify.
At the time, Pinder commended Williams’ decision.
In 2019, Frank Smith, a former PLP senator and chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority, was acquitted of bribery and extortion charges.