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Police officer in Shane Gibson case sent on leave

Superintendent Debra Thompson, who admitted in the Supreme Court that she orchestrated an illegal joint meeting with the star witnesses in the Shane Gibson trial, has been sent on leave.

She is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation launched into a complaint made by Gibson about Thompson’s conduct in his case.

In leaked recordings of the meeting, Thompson is heard telling government witnesses Jonathan Ash and Deborah Bastian that there were several inconsistencies in their statements to the police. She told the pair that she called a meeting with them and their lawyers to “iron out” those inconsistencies so the two could be on the same page.

In those secret recordings, Thompson asked the witnesses and their lawyers which parts of their statements they wanted her to delete and what they wanted to add to strengthen their case against Gibson.

She then altered their statements to eliminate their very different accounts of what transpired during a meeting with Gibson.

At no time did Thompson inform the defendant’s attorneys that this meeting had taken place. While she admitted that what she did was wrong in front a Supreme Court judge, she was promoted from Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent after Gibson was acquitted of all charges in 2019.

In a scathing rebuke of Thompson’s actions, Justice Indra Charles said, “Unkind as it may be, ASP Thompson struck me as an officer with very little investigative skills despite her impressive rank in the RBPF.

“I say this because every single police officer from the rank of constable ought to know that two prosecution witnesses should not be brought together to discuss their evidence, exchange their account and decide as to what to say and what they should omit to say in their statements and evidence.”

Charles added, “In fact, I am amazed that the lawyers, Mr. Rolle and Ms. Bowe, who were present, did not raise their objection with ASP Thompson and for that, criticism ought to be levied at them much more than ASP Thompson (who is not a lawyer).”

Since then, Gibson penned several letters to Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle and the Public Service Commission, requesting that the matter be referred to the Complaints and Corruption Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).

After many of those letters went unanswered, the leadership of the force finally agreed to investigate Thompson’s disgraceful conduct.

Gibson is one of three members of the last Christie Administration who were targeted and charged by the Minnis Administration within months of coming to office in 2017. Gibson and former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman Frank Smith were put on trial and acquitted of all charges despite political interference from government ministers.

Former cabinet minister Ken Dorsett’s case remains in limbo.

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