‘Why should we believe you?’, key witness asked by lawyer




Tribune Chief Reporter


A DEFENCE attorney asked a key witness in the criminal trial of Long Island MP Adrian Gibson and others why jurors should believe her testimony after she admitted to lying to police during her record of interview. 

Damian Gomez, KC, continued attacking Tanya Demeritte’s credibility under cross-examination on Friday, citing inconsistencies with her police statements.

Ms Demeritte, who took a plea deal in 2022 after being charged in the case, previously admitted to making false statements to police out of fear and confusion.

When pressed about that on Friday, she said she could not recall some of the answers she gave police but maintained she was fearful and confused at the time. 

“You lied in such facility when you’re confused,” Mr Gomez told her. “Why should the jury believe you now?”

“God knows the truth,” she responded. 

“I know I lied to them, but I know I didn’t sign the contracts that the lady showed me the other day.”

 Mr Gomez asked the witness why she only remembered certain events, but not other things that happened around the same time. 

 She said: “Sir, when you have been through so much, it’s confusing about everything. Sometimes you’re trying to forget about this and just move on. You don’t want to relive it.”

She said she would never have gotten involved in “crookedness” if she had known the details beforehand.

Asked about her role as a director of Elite Maintenance, a company that was awarded contracts by the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) under Mr Gibson’s tenure, Ms Demeritte said she assessed work sites at the request of Alexandria Mackey, Mr Gibson’s former fiancée.

 Regarding works for WSC’s Blue Hill tanks, she confirmed that R and L Pools was the company that Elite Maintenance subcontracted to carry out maintenance works there. 

 She admitted to signing contracts with R and L Pools, but disagreed when Mr Gomez suggested she negotiated payments with them.

 She also denied permitting her signature to be affixed to letters of acceptance from WSC to Elite Maintenance for the work.

 “Whoever did it, they know who they are, they shouldn’t have put my signature there,” she added. 

 Mr Gomez asked her if she found it odd signing contracts with companies Elite Maintenance hired but not the letters of acceptance from the corporation. 

 “Sir, I don’t know, like I said, the details for these stuff,” she responded.

 Mr Gomez pointed to a meeting she and Mrs Mackey had with representatives from R and L Pools, saying: “You all were discussing subcontracts to the very contracts that bear your signature.”

 Ms Demeritte replied that she was not involved in those discussions and did not know about Mrs Mackey’s plans. 

 “I was helping Alexandria out. I didn’t know the extent of what she was doing,” she added. 

 Mr Gomez suggested she agreed to pay a representative of R and L Pools $40,000 to perform maintenance work at WSC’s Blue Hill tanks, but Ms Demeritte said she couldn’t recall the amount of the contracts.

 Mr Gibson, the MP for Long Island, is facing bribery and money laundering charges concerning his tenure as WSC executive chairman under the Minnis administration.

 The charges stem from Mr Gibson’s alleged failure to declare his interest in contracts awarded by the WSC. 

 The FNM politician is charged with four others –– Mr Elwood Donaldson Jr, former WSC’s general manager, Peaches Farquharson, Joan Knowles and Jerome Missick.

 Prosecutors recently dropped charges against his cousin, Rashae Gibson, who has agreed to testify in the trial. 

 Mr Gomez, KC, Mr Murrio Ducille, KC, Bryan Bastian, Ryan Eve, Raphael Moxey, Ian Cargill and Donald Saunders represent the defendants.

 The Crown’s lawyers are Ms Cordell Frazier, Cashena Thompson, Karine MacVean and Rashied Edgecombe.

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