‘MOTION DENIED’ IN GIBSON TRIAL: Long Island MP’s constitutional motion ‘improper’, judge said


Long Island MP Adrian Gibson. (File photo)


Tribune Staff Reporter


A SUPREME Court judge rejected Adrian Gibson’s latest constitutional motion to impact his corruption trial yesterday.

Mr Gibson and two of his co-accused, Joan Knowles and Jerome Missick, claimed they could not have a fair hearing within a reasonable time. Their latest motion argued that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case and failed to let them exercise their right to address the matter in the Magistrate’s Court.

Ultimately, Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson determined the constitutional motion was improper.

She concluded the voluntary bill of indictment that transferred the matter to the Supreme Court was fair to the defendants. 

“This honourable court has a duty to ensure that both the applicants and the respondents receive a fair trial,” Justice Grant-Thompson said. “With this being said, the court notes the applicants had many opportunities to object to the offences they have been charged with. However, the applicants elected to bring their application once again on the eve of the commencement of the trial.”

“However, despite the further delay, this court has in no way penalized the applicants for their actions. It is understandable for those individuals charged with serious offences for which there can be severe penalties that they will exercise and exhaust every avenue available to them. The court finds that the voluntary bill of indictment referred to in this matter is not flawed therefore the constitutional relief sought in this regard is denied.

“The court finds that the defendants can have a fair trial, so that constitutional relief also fails. The court finds further that even if the indictment had been flawed, relief was available as was redress from Section 151 of the CPC. Therefore, the constitution was prematurely invoked. This court will not prematurely stay the prosecution, nor does the court find the process unconstitutional.”

 “This court, in my opinion, has gone far and beyond to ensure that the applicants receive a fair, impartial and timely trial. The applicant could have taken these objections to the charged offences from the inception of this matter. The court has heard and carefully examined the arguments made by both parties.

 “This honourable court is of the view that the aforementioned offences for which these applicants are charged are rightfully before this court and thus triable. This court looks forward to the trial commencing on the 24th of July, 2023 and reminds the applicant that there are six defendants before the court and they are all equally entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable time.”

 Since last June, when the defendants were charged, Mr Gibson’s trial has been delayed by numerous legal challenges. In September, Mr Gibson’s attorney, Murrio Ducille, objected to having the matter before Justice Grant-Thomson, arguing her deceased husband’s political alignment with the Progressive Liberal Party prevented her from being impartial. The judge denied his application.

 In May, the start of the trial was delayed by another motion, a constitutional motion seeking to force a key witness to testify in person. That motion was also rejected.

 The initial jury was discharged last week after two members were dismissed for breaching court protocol.

 Mr Gibson is accused of enriching himself to over $1m through illicit cheques and wire transfers in connection with contracts the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) awarded while he was executive chairman.

 WSC’s former general manager, Elwood Donaldson, Jr, Rashae Gibson, Gibson’s cousin, Joan Knowles, Peaches Farquharson and Jerome Missick were also charged.

 Together, the group face 98 charges, including conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, fraud, receiving and money laundering.

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