Categorized | National News

Thompson Testifies in Gibson’s Bribery Trial

Jack Thompson, former Director of the National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (NRRU) in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, took the stand in the Shane Gibson bribery trial on Friday afternoon.

While under cross examination, he told the court the NRRU became concerned that so many contractors approached the unit claiming they were cleaning up communities badly affected by the storm. 

In fact, a spread sheet presented in court revealed that a number of individuals and companies submitted bills claiming they were paid thousands of dollars. 

Thompson said the unit met with the then Cabinet minister three times to express its concern over the matter.  The first meeting was on October 16, 2016, the second meeting November 16, 2016 and the third meeting November 21, 2016.

The court heard how the first meeting addressed the fact that a more systematic approach was needed to deal with the matter. 

During the second meeting, it was pointed out that the situation was still out of control, adding that a contract process was needed and that Gibson agreed.

Thompson further noted that the accused was concerned about the process by which bills were being submitted before moving to the contract process which Gibson himself initiated.

According to the witness, out of that large amount of money distributed for cleanup efforts, Jonathon Ash was paid some $7.5 million, the largest payment on the spreadsheet. 

Thompson said he felt the payments had to be authorized by someone, but he didn’t know by whom.

When questioned by the defense’s lead attorney, Queens Counsel Keith Knight, Thompson acknowledged that nothing was unusual about having more than one cheque cleared for one company in a single day.

He further revealed that the NRRU sent a stop order to the Ministry of Works telling them to stop contracting persons, however, bills were still submitted pass after the stop order around November 16. 

Also taking the stand was Inspector Shavone Dames, who said she examined one phone that was the iPhone of Jonathon Ash. 

She discovered, she said, 130 calls from Gibson to Deborah Bastian, 126 calls from Bastian to Gibson and three calls from Ash to Gibson during the period January 1, 2017 to April 30, 2017. These calls did not include WhatsApp calls.

Gibson is accused of soliciting and accepting $610,000 in bribes from Ash in relation to post Hurricane Matthew cleanups.

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