Former Labour Minister Shane Gibson is pictured beside Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis (left) after being acquitted on all counts of bribery yesterday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
AFTER former Labour Minister Shane Gibson was acquitted on all counts of bribery of which he was accused, Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis called for an inquiry into the prosecution’s conduct regarding the case.
Calling yesterday’s not guilty verdicts a miracle, Mr Davis said he and his colleagues prayed for that outcome and are pleased the jury saw the case how they saw it.
“This case should have never been brought; it should not have gone to the jury,” he said in a statement yesterday. “It was clear from the start this was simply victor’s justice. The political party in power taking advantage of its position as guardians of the state to oppress the political minority.
“Prime Minister Hubert Minnis goes down in history of our country as the meanest and most vengeful prime minister. One who sought to divide instead of uniting. His Attorney General goes down in history as one whose office didn’t follow the law, but allows politics to drive the prosecution of a political opponent.
“We know that the evidence was contaminated in this case by reason of bringing witnesses together to discuss remove ambiguities and difference between them. Once revealed, the trial should have been stopped. The misconduct of the prosecutors should not go without inquiry with a view of ensuring that justice is done for and on behalf of Shane Gibson and the justice system itself.
“I’m deeply disappointed in the FNM. They all stood and allowed this injustice to be wreaked upon Shane Gibson and his family. At the end of the day the jury got it right.”
Mr Gibson is the second former PLP politician to be acquitted of bribery charges brought under the Minnis administration. Frank Smith, former PLP senator, was acquitted of bribery charges in February and the decision was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.
When asked about the PLP’s victories in court, Mr Davis said he warned the prime minister in 2017 in a letter that winning would be the outcome.
He told reporters yesterday: “I knew they were engaged in skullduggery. That they were not pursuing this as a matter of justice but as a matter of vengeance and a matter of what I call victor’s justice and the result is here. We hope lessons are learnt from this.”
Yesterday, Justice Carolita Bethel acquitted and discharged Mr Gibson of all of the 15 counts of bribery that he faced. Gibson had been accused of soliciting and accepting more than $200,000 in bribes from Jonathan Ash as a condition for expediting payments the contractor was owed by the Christie administration.