A third member of the former Perry Christie-led Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration has been hauled before the law courts on a string of bribery charges.
Former Labor and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson was yesterday slapped with one count of misconduct in public office, 16 counts of bribery, two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and 15 counts of extortion.
It is alleged that between January 2 and April 30 this year, Gibson accepted $610,000 in bribes from private citizen Jonathan Ash for using his influence to approve outstanding payments owed to Ash by the Government.
In relation to the extortion charges, Gibson is accused of demanding $610,000 from Ash between February 7, 2017 and March 30.
The conspiracy to commit extortion allegedly occurred between the same dates.
In one conspiracy charge, he is accused of conspiring with another person to demand $250,000 from Ash. The second conspiracy count alleges that Gibson and another person received $250, 000 from Ash.
Gibson was not required to plead to the charges.
He was granted bail of $40,000 with two sureties.
The case was adjourned until October 3, but prior to that Gibson will return to court in September for a constitutional challenge to the Bail Act, his attorney Wayne Munroe QC told reporters.
Last month, former Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett was charged with using his former ministerial position to extort and solicit $120,000 in bribes from the same Ash at the centre of Gibson’s charges.
Former PLP Senator Frank Smith has also been slapped with 15 criminal charges relating to solicitation of $$65,000 in bribes from a woman he is said to have assisted in getting a contract.