Alleged fixed testimonials and claims of “improper” interference by police were reasons outlined by attorneys representing former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson – charged with extortion – to have charges and the Voluntary Bill of Indictment (VBI) against him dropped.
Affidavits were submitted in the Supreme Court yesterday, August 16, by attorney Ryszard Humes of Munroe and Associates, to support Gibson’s application for certain constitutional relief.
In the affidavit, obtained by Eyewitness News, Humes alleged that the “unprecedented” levels of witness coaching and the alleged evidence alterations, in this case, were “so egregious” that any evidence submitted by witnesses would be“irremediably tainted.”
“The evidence is incapable of being treated as impartial or independent of bias and influence,” Humes’ affidavit read. “The level of interference by the police with the principal witness of the case, has extended beyond permissible witness familiarization, as the police and others have clearly engineered and rendered assistance in influencing the evidence of those witnesses tending to fabrication of evidence.”
He also pointed to alleged recordings made with police and witnesses.
“The recordings clearly disclosed that the police organized sessions …. (witnesses) exchanged their accounts and decided as to what they should say and what they should omit to say in their statement and evidence,” the affidavit read.
“These sessions resulted in the contamination of the evidence of both principal witness and such that it would not be possible for them to give independent advice.”
Last August Gibson was accused of receiving $610,000 in kickbacks from a private citizen, who had a multi-million-dollar contract with the ousted Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government.
Gibson was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion, two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, 15 counts of extortion, 16 counts of bribery and one count of misconduct in public office.
In addition to the extortion charges, the misconduct in public office charge was dropped earlier this year.
Humes, in his affidavit also alleged that despite repeated requests for certain documents –vital to Gibson’s preparation of his defense- they have not been provided.
The hearing has been scheduled for September 11-19 before Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs.