Disgraced Long Island MP Adrian Gibson appears to be judge shopping ahead of his corruption trial.
In a very unusual move, Gibson and his attorney Murrio Ducille, KC will appear before Senior Justice Bernard Turner, who is the first cousin of former FNM cabinet minister Carl Bethel, during a private hearing on Monday to explain why Gibson does not want Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson to preside over his trial.
According to legal experts, Ducille should explain to Grant-Thompson why she should not hear the case but Turner has agreed to entertain Gibson’s attempt to “judge shop”.
In contrast, former PLP minister Shane Gibson’s attorneys asked Justice Carolita Bethel to recuse herself from his highly political trial as her husband Feron Bethel is a staunch FNM supporter, who was appointed to the BPL board twice and appointed a Queens Counsel under the Minnis Administration.
However, Justice Bethel immediately refused to step down from the case even as she admitted that her husband was the FNM’s lawyer for the Centreville constituency vote recount following the 2017 General Election.
Though Bethel herself heard the recusal application made against her, Justice Grant-Thompson has been denied that same right.
In the case of Adrian Gibson, Turner will decide, behind closed doors, if Grant-Thompson is removed from the Long Island MP’s case.
Though Grant-Thompson has never shown her political colors, the FNM MP fears she is a supporter of the PLP because she is the widow of former PLP Deputy Leader Peter Bethel.
However, it is important to note that Bethel died 22 years ago and his widow has since remarried.
Gibson and five others face charges stemming from the award of lucrative Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) contracts while the MP served as executive chairman.
Prosecutors allege that Gibson had access to the bank accounts of two companies that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in WSC contracts and that he used some of the money to purchase vehicles, property and a house off of Shirley Street.
Seven people were initially charged but one of Gibson’s co-defendants has since pleaded guilty to bribing him and was fined.