This is a victory for democracy. We have been assailed by political victimization over a period of four years
– DAMIAN GOMEZ, QC
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has abandoned its bribery case against former Cabinet Minister Kenred Dorsett.
A nolle prosequi was issued after the prosecution’s key witness, businessman Jonathon Ash, indicated his intention to not testify.
Dorsett was charged in 2017 with extorting $120,000 from Ash.
“The witness, Mr Jonathan Ash, indicated his intention to not testify,” the DPP said in a statement yesterday.
“Therefore, the director of public prosecutions, having been advised by the senior officer having conduct of the matter, signed a nolle prosequi in the matter of R vs Kenred Dorsett.
“This means that the prosecution has insufficient evidence to proceed, and therefore the case is abandoned.”
When contacted, Dorsett’s attorney, Damian Gomez, QC, said: “This is a victory for democracy. We have been assailed by political victimization over a period of four years.
“Every single supporter of the Progressive Liberal Party had been attacked viciously [and] unjustifiably for their political affiliation.
“This development today brings to an end the instances of political victimization, which goes to the heart of corruption in the former administration, who were prepared to even corrupt the judicial processes and criminal processes for their own benefit.”
Dorsett’s matter was the last in a series of cases in the Minnis administration’s anti-corruption prosecutions.
He was the first of three former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) parliamentarians who were arrested and charged in relation to allegations of abuse of their positions in office for financial gain.
Former Senator and Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Chairman Frank Smith and former Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson were both acquitted.
Smith was acquitted of bribery and extortion charges in February 2019.
The judge said there was not a scintilla of evidence to support that there was a meeting between Smith and the virtual complainant, Barbara Hanna, to justify the 13 charges against him.
Gibson was acquitted of multiple counts of bribery last November.
The former Golden Gates MP was accused of soliciting and accepting more than $200,000 in bribes from Ash for expediting payments the contractor was owed for work done following cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
In February 2020, Gibson sued the government, alleging “malicious prosecution” and false imprisonment.