A juror’s illness yesterday delayed the close of the prosecution’s case against former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson.
Gibson, 58, faces 15 counts of bribery over claims that he abused his position as hurricane czar following Hurricane Matthew in 2016 for personal gain.
Gibson, who is on bail, has denied the bribery charges at his trial before Justice Carolita Bethel, who adjourned the matter to today.
The case revolves around contractor Jonathan Ash who prosecutors say was owed upwards of $1 million by the government for work done as part of the cleanup following the storm. Ash allegedly paid Gibson bribes to speed up the payment process.
Prosecutors allege that in an effort to get paid, Ash met with Gibson and Deborah Bastian in January 2017.
Following this meeting, Gibson allegedly received payments from Ash through Bastian, but later those payments were made directly.
The defense has charged that a joint meeting called by Assistant Superintendent of Police Debra Thompson between Ash and Bastian, after Gibson was charged, was improper.
Thompson said she wanted to “iron out ambiguities” but the defense has termed it as an attempt to synchronize their statements.
According to the indictment, Gibson asked for $330,000 and received $280,000 in bribes from Ash during the charged period.
Ash, who has been granted immunity from prosecution, went to police after Gibson’s party, the Progressive Liberal Party, was soundly defeated at the polls.
James Guthrie QC, DPP Garvin Gaskin, Terry Archer and Destiny McKinney appear for the Crown.
Keith Knight QC, Damian Gomez QC, Philip McKenzie and Owen Wells appear for Gibson.