By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
SHANE Gibson said he is still waiting for Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle to say if the Complaints and Corruption Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force is dealing with the complaint he made concerning his bribery trial.
Mr Gibson was acquitted in November 2019 of 15 counts of bribery after being accused of soliciting and accepting thousands of dollars from Jonathan Ash to expedite payments the government owed the contractor.
In a February 7, 2020 letter to the complaints unit of the RBPF, he alleged that trial testimony showed former Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson and then Assistant Superintendent of Police Debra Thompson engaged in misconduct. He requested that disciplinary proceedings start against them in accordance with the Constitution and the Police Act.
Justice Indra Charles, during the trial, had criticised the now-Superintendent Thompson after the officer admitted to bringing key witnesses together to discuss the evidence and to bring their statements in alignment.
Mr Gibson said he did not receive a response to his February 2020 letter so he wrote Commissioner Rolle on May 1, 2020, but still got no response.
He also sent a letter to the Police Service Commission on that date. Rev Philip Stubbs, then chairman of the PSC, wrote to him on May 7, 2020 to say his matter had been referred to the commissioner “for the attention of the Police Complaints and Corruption Unit for immediate action.”
Mr Gibson then wrote to the commissioner on May 28, 2020, saying Rev Stubbs’ update left him “perplexed” given he had already sent letters to that unit.
He said he received no response from the commissioner. His latest letter to Commissioner Rolle––to which he again received no response––was sent on September 22, 2021. He requested “advice as to the status of this investigation” in that letter.
He told The Tribune yesterday: “I just want the matter referred to the complaints and corruption branch as the Police Service Commission Chairman Pastor Stubbs said it should be. I want the decency and the courtesy of the commissioner of police acknowledging receipt of the letters I referred to him, which I know he received. If the commissioner is refusing to abide by the law then what does he expect his subordinates to do?”
Commissioner Rolle did not respond to a message seeking comment yesterday.
Mr Gibson, former Golden Gates MP, probably expects response to his complaints now that the Progressive Liberal Party is back in power. In opposition, the party was critical of the prosecution exercises that affected party officials.
“I was expecting (National Security Minister Wayne Munroe) to intervene and to respond to my last letter which I also sent to him, but I haven’t gotten a response from the minister, neither the commissioner on that,” Mr Gibson said. “The basis of my complaint is one, I want the matter referred to the complaints and corruption branch in accordance with the law and a response acknowledging a receipt of my letters I sent so far. The complaints branch is charged with investigating any complaint made against any police officer. There should at least be a hearing. I know what I would like to see happen as an outcome, but that’s not the point, I at least want the matter referred so an investigation could happen and it could be determined whether what she did was correct.”
Yesterday, Mr Munroe, who said he represented Mr Gibson at the very beginning of his trial, said he received a copy of Mr Gibson’s letter and discussed the matter with the commissioner.
“I did speak with the commissioner and indicated that he might want to give Mr Gibson the courtesy of a reply to his letter," he said. “Apart from that, the Constitution makes provisions for how gazetted officers are to be addressed and it’s not by the minister of national security and the commissioner of police. The Public Service Commission deals with complaints against gazetted officers. If they were sending it to the complaints unit to be investigated, that's a different issue.”