Former Senator Basil Waite charged with corruption... granted $1.5m bail
PROSECUTORS yesterday alleged that government consultant and former Senator Basil Waite tried to arrange a meeting with a Kingston businessman and Justice of the Peace whose actions resulted in corruption charges against a police constable.
The allegations were outlined as Waite, a former People's National Party (PNP) senator and consultant to the Local Government Ministry, made his first appearance in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate Court to answer a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He was arrested and charged yesterday by detectives from the Major Organised Crime Agency (MOCA).
In outlining the allegations, prosecutors say the businessman and JP - identified in court documents as Sheldon Beckford - reported in May last year that police constable Oliver Reid solicited $25,000 from him after one of his trucks was stopped the previous day and found to be in breach of the Road Traffic Act.
It was revealed that Reid agreed to accept $10,000 and was subsequently arrested and charged for breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act and illegal possession of ammunition and placed before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.
However, prosecutors say in April this year, Waite contacted Beckford by telephone and asked if he could meet with him to "see what they could do for Oliver Reid".
In a witness statement given to police investigators a month later, Beckford also revealed that the former senator gave him a telephone number and told him he could use it to contact him.
Prosecutors say the matter was reported to the police and a magistrate, who ordered an investigation.
Waite, through his attorney, Xavier Mayne, has denied the allegations and said he is "anxiously waiting to have his day in court".
In a statement late yesterday, the PNP called the allegations serious, but declined to comment further.
"The nature of the allegations are serious and we understand this. However, we will not offer any interviews or any further comment until these investigations and related court proceedings are concluded and only if deemed necessary or appropriate," the PNP said.
Waite has been released on $1.5 million bail and is schedule to return to court on November 10.