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Adrian Gibson’s lawyer pushes for another justice

By PAVEL BAILEY

Tribune Court Reporter

pbailey@tribunemedia.net

THE lawyer representing Long Island MP Adrian Gibson in his corruption trial continued to push for his case to be transferred to another justice.

Murrio Ducille, KC, submitted a recusal application towards Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson arguing of public perception of political bias as the case proceeds.

While the King’s Counsel emphasised that he does not believe Justice Grant-Thompson is not fit to preside over the case, he is more concerned of perception stating that the justice’s late husband Peter Bethel was a Progressive Liberal Party minister. Given that Gibson is a member of the Free National Movement, he felt another judge should hear the case.

The other defendants’ counsel elected to remain neutral on the issue.

 Regarding this application, prosecutor Eucal Bonaby said that as it is a small country any believed bias due to perceived political associations is unavoidable. He further said that Mr Ducille cannot use the justice’s late husband as basis for recusal and objected to the request.

 In rebuttal, Mr Ducille once again stated that he does not think Justice Grant-Thompson is unfit or would not rule fairly, but that his move for the case to be transferred is on the basis of perception of bias.

 The sitting MP for Long Island faces numerous accusations of malfeasance linked to his time as executive chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation during the Minnis administration. Gibson is alleged to have personally accrued over $1.25m through a series of cheques and wire transfers in connection with contracts awarded to Elite Maintenance and Baha Maintenance and Restoration by WSC.

 It is further alleged that he gained the money through bribery and then laundered it through the purchase of properties and vehicles, including those used in Gibson’s company in Long Island.

 Gibson with his alleged co-conspirators — Elwood Donaldson Jr, WSC’s former general manager; Gibson’s cousin, Rashae Gibson; the MP’s former campaign manager Joan Knowles; Peaches Farquharson and Jerome Missick — all pleaded not guilty to the 98 charges in the matter Friday. These charges range from conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, fraud, receiving and money laundering.

 In the MP’s latest court appearance yesterday, Gibson along with three other co-defendants were placed in the defendants’ dock to which his counsel raised objection.

 Justice Grant-Thompson responded that Gibson was not singled out by being placed in the dock. She went on to say that the remaining two defendants not placed in but near the dock were only seated as such to adhere to court overflow protocols for cases with this many defendants. However the justice stated that she will be willing to consider logistics on defendants’ seating at a later date.

 After informing Gibson’s counsel to submit official recusal papers to her office yesterday, Justice Grant-Thompson said that her ruling on the motion will take place at 11am on Thursday.