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More Questions for Ash over ‘Shingles’

Lead prosecutor James Guthrie, QC, wrapped up re-examination yesterday where key witness Jonathan Ash maintained that he and former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson used the term ‘shingles’ to refer to money.

During cross examination, lead defense attorney Keith Knight, QC, referred to a WhatsApp voice note where Ash and Gibson discussed dropping off shingles.

Knight implied that the term ‘shingles’ could have been used for anything like a hairstyle or actual shingles.

As a result, Guthrie asked Ash what the term meant. Ash replied, “I was meaning cash.  I was dropping off cash.” 

Guthrie also questioned Ash about the photo he sent to Gibson of a pile of shingles and asked him to explain the reason behind sending the photo.

Ash explained that he and his workers, at that time, were cleaning up the Golden Gates constituency and his workers gathered piles of rubbish.

This is why the picture was sent to him which he forwarded to Gibson.

The British QC then asked Ash about the meeting between himself, his lawyer Alicia Bowe, ASP Deborah Thompson, Deborah Bastian and her lawyer Mr. Rolle.

Guthrie asked Ash if he knew the meeting was being recorded.  Ash said he had no idea.

When asked if the meeting affected his evidence, Ash said no sir.

During cross examination, the lead defense attorney suggested to Ash that his statement was altered to which Ash again said no.

Guthrie them asked the witness if he accepted that a lot was cut out of his statement.

 Ash replied, “I accept minor stuff was cut out.” 

Guthrie then re-examined Ash on his customs infractions.

 Ash agreed that he had been charged with making false declarations in the past and explained that as a custom broker, people would go to the states and shop. 

He further explained that sometimes when they return they would use his name or their own name.

If he received an item he said it’s his duty to go online and ensure that the price is accurate and once he is satisfied, Ash said he would then submit the invoice to customs.

Then he added it to customs to ensure all items are accounted for and properly paid for. He said if all is not in order he would go and pay the fine.

The lead prosecutor then sought to clear up speculation around the freeze order that was placed on Ash’s account at Commonwealth Bank.

The court heard that the order allowed Ash to access $100,000 per week from his savings account.

Additionally, the order allowed Ash to access $500,000 from his checking account and should he need any additional funds over $500,000 he could have access to the funds with the permission of the attorney general.

Gibson is standing trial for his alleged conduct between January 2017 and March 2017.

It’s alleged that during that time he received $280,000 in bribes from contractor Jonathan Ash. 

Court adjourned until November 11.        

Written by Jones Bahamas

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