Categorized | National News

Knight Quizzes Ash Over ‘Shingles’

Lead defense attorney Keith Knight, QC, suggested to key witness Jonathan Ash that he was not telling the truth when he testified on Wednesday that when former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson asked “if there are any shingles today,” he was referring to money.

Referencing a WhatsApp message where Gibson asked if there were “any shingles today,” the Jamaican QC then asked Ash if it was possible that Gibson called him in March 2017 asking for shingles. 

To that the witness said, “It’s possible.” 

The attorney pressed on, asking Ash if he recalled saying in his signed statement that Gibson called him, introduced himself and said he needed shingles.

Ash replied, “Not in March.”

Ash was then showed the statement and asked the question again. At this point, the contractor conceded he did not recall and that he stood by his statement.

He was then asked if he agreed that the first WhatsApp message that referred to where Gibson asked him for shingles was in February 2017.   He replied “yes.” 

The defense then showed, as photos, conversations with Gibson during the month of April and asked if he recognized the photos. 

Ash said yes and added that the photos were pictures of a truck and his workers erecting campaign billboards for Gibson during the month of April. 

Following one of the photos came a voice note where Ash said, “You’re looking good.”

When asked if it was an expression of happiness on his part during the run up to the 2017 General Election, Ash said yes, even though, just prior to this he claimed he was paying bribes to Gibson.

He also admitted before the court that he erected Gibson’s campaign billboards and did work at his constituency for free.

When asked if he thought Gibson would have won the 2017 General Election, Ash said no, but he still did the work for free. 

Knight then asked Ash if he was aware that paying bribes was an offence and that he was reducing his profit margin.  Ash said yes. 

The lead defense attorney also asked if he recalled in his statement saying if anyone demanded or solicited bribes from him, he would let their boss know. Ash said yes.

Knight then asked Ash if he had the cell phone contact for former Prime Minister Perry Christie. Ash said he had the number for his aid and would communicate to him through his aid. 

When asked if he recalled sending a text message to the number for Christie, Ash said he couldn’t recall.

When asked if he ever attempted to send a message to Christie concerning Gibson, Ash said he didn’t recall. 

The Jamaican QC then moved to questioning Ash about the meeting he said was held at CID with himself, his lawyer Alicia Bowe, Deborah Bastian, her lawyer Mr. Rolle and ASP Deborah Thomson. 

Knight asked if he recalled ASP Thompson saying that there were ambiguities between his and Bastian’s statements that needed to be cleared up, Ash said “yes, she wanted to know the truth.” 

When asked if ASP Thompson said we need to iron this out because you are giving two different accounts as to what happened leading up to the meeting between himself, Bastian and Gibson, Ash said didn’t recall because it was a long time ago.

Knight then noted that January 2017 was an even longer time ago to which Ash said yes, but that he could remember that. 

When asked if he remembered ASP Thompson saying she was cutting out some of his statements because he gave too much detail, Ash said he did not recall.

Gibson is charged with 15 counts of bribery surrounding his alleged conduct between January 2017 and March 2017. It is alleged that during that time. Gibson received $280,000 in bribes from Jonathan Ash.

Court resumes today at 10 a.m.      

Written by Jones Bahamas

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