Categorized | National News

Ash Accused of Dishonesty

Another day of contractor Jonathon Ash being accused of dishonesty by telling the court that the $250,000 in bribes he paid to Deborah Bastian was for former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson.

Citing Ash’s police statement in court, lead defense attorney Keith Knight, QC, read, “Bastian said she needed $250,000 and I told her she got to be joking. 

“I picked up my phone to call my daddy and she said I can’t pick up my phone in here.” 

When asked in court if in his second statement he ever said “Bastian said she needed $250,000 for Gibson,” Ash said “yes in context, but not in those exact words.” 

Ash added that in the parking lot following the meeting with Bastian and Gibson, the former said she needed $250,000 in order for him to receive his payment, as the government was behind in paying him. 

Further, at that point Ash understood that in order to get paid, Gibson had to be paid.

When questioned if Bastian said she needed the money for her or Gibson, the witness said she needed it, “forgo $250,000.” 

Mr. Knight then asked if he was aware the term forgo meant to give up something, to which Ash said yes.

When asked if Bastian stated the purpose, Ash said no, she didn’t, but that he had to give her $250,000.

He said the government owed him a lot of money at that time. 

Additionally, Ash said he believed when Bastian used the term forgo it meant Gibson needed to be paid to get his money forgo. However, he admitted that Bastian never explained what forgo meant.

Ash also told the court that Gibson demanded $250,000, which he paid.

Mr. Knight then asked when did Gibson make that demand. Ash said through Bastian at his Gibson’s Meeting Street office.

Mr. Knight then asked if he meant when Bastian said she needed $250,000 and Ash said yes.

It was then that the defense attorney accused Ash of lying to which the witness answered, “I am not a liar sir. The record speaks for itself.” 

Knight then asked Ash if he knew Simon Wilson, the then financial secretary and if he was in telephone contact with him. Ash said yes. 

The Jamaican QC went on questioning if the witness was ever told to drop the bill he gave to the government and Ash said no.

Knight then referred to a January 29WhatsApp message between Ash and Gibson where Ash said, “Simon told me not to drop the bill, he can deal with it as it is.”

When asked if “not to drop the bill” meant not to reduce it, the contractor said that’s correct.

Knight then asked him if he had any discussions to forgo the bill to which Ash said he didn’t know how to answer that.

Knight again accused the key witness of lying. Ash was then asked if following the meeting with Bastian and Gibson he went to see Jack Thompson, who placed a memo on his bill that read “urgent, pay immediately?” Ash said yes.

Within that same day, he further told the court he received his first cheque of $250,000.

The court also heard that Bastian contacted Ash informing him when the remainder of his cheque was ready.

Ash received four $250,000 cheques. 

Court resumes today at 10 a.m. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook