Charges dropped against Dorsett

Charges dropped against Dorsett
Former Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett.

The prosecution in Kendred Dorsett’s trial intend to pursue only bribery charges against the former Environment Minister, according to one of Dorsett’s attorneys – Wayne Munroe, QC.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Munroe said, “several charges were dropped”.

“They are only proceeding with the bribery matter,” said Munroe.

“He is going back to court on April 25, and we are told that is the direction we are taking. What is interesting is if they had arraigned him on just the bribery charges initially, he would have been able to get bail from the Magistrate. But because they did not, he had to go to the Supreme Court because of the extortion charge. Isn’t that convenient?”

Last September, Dorsett, 46, stood before Supreme Court Justice Bernard Turner accused of extorting and soliciting $120,000 in bribes from Jonathan Ash. Ash was allegedly contracted to remove debris from the New Providence landfill following a fire last March.

Dorsett was charged with nine criminal charges including one single count of misconduct in public office and four counts each of extortion and bribery.

Prosecutors allege that Dorsett, while a public official between March 1, and May 9, 2017, unlawfully demanded and obtained two payments of $10,000 and two payments of $50,000 from Ash.

It is also alleged that Dorsett willfully engaged in misconduct as a public officer without lawful authority.

He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and was granted $50,000 bail, with two sureties.

The move to reduce the charges against Dorsett comes one week after the Crown indicated its intent to dismiss all 15 counts of extortion against former Cabinet Minister Shame Gibson.

At the time, Munroe said, a case management was held on March 29 with Crown’s counsel Terry Archer to take such action when the case resumes on May 4.

Gibson was initially charged with 15 counts of bribery, 15 counts of extortion, two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of misconduct in public office.

It is alleged that the Gibson bribed and extorted more than $8 million from Ash for clean-up efforts following hurricane Matthew.

Munroe said another case management has been scheduled to determine if the remaining charges will be removed or reduced.