Minister of National Security Marvin Dames yesterday defended Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson and Assistant Superintendent of Police Debra Thompson amid criticism of their roles in the trial of former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson.
“We have the utmost confidence in detective, Assistant Superintendent Debra Thompson. I’ve known her for a very long time,” Dames said outside the House of Assembly.
He added, “I’ve known these officers for many years.
“Their integrity is impeccable.”
During the bribery trial of Gibson, it was revealed that Thompson had a joint meeting with key witness Jonathan Ash and public servant Deborah Bastian, who had worked closely with Gibson, to “synchronize” their statements.
She also suggested that it is a common police practice, which former Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Thompson has also stated to be the case.
Thompson testified that the meeting was wrong in hindsight.
Dame said, “Their integrity is impeccable and all of those persons who are calling for their resignations, they should look at themselves, inwardly.”
Former Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez, QC – who represented Gibson during the trial – indicated that Gibson’s defense team plans to file a complaint against Ferguson, in addition to taking legal action.
K.D. Knight, QC, Gibson’s lead attorney insisted that if those involved in wrongdoing are permitted to continue in the positions they hold “then nothing good would have come out of this”.
However, Dames dismissed the criticism.
“Have we done an analysis and assessment of the case to make such determination?” he asked.
He added, “You don’t think that they have a vested interest?
“Come on, let’s get serious about this, okay?”
Gibson faced 15 counts of bribery for allegedly 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.
He was cleared of all charges on November 27.