Mon | Aug 21, 2017

'Waite' is over ... Former senator freed of corruption charge in two-year-old case

Published:Monday | November 7, 2016 | 11:42 PM
Basil Waite was acquitted in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today after the prosecution offered no further evidence in a two-year-old matter.

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

Former Government Senator Basil Waite has been freed of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Waite was acquitted in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today after the prosecution offered no further evidence in a two-year-old matter.

An adviser to Local Government Minister Noel Arscott at the time, Waite was arrested and charged by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency in October 2014 for allegedly telephoning a witness in a corruption case in an attempt to influence the outcome of the matter.

The trial was however short lived today as prosecutors abandoned their case shortly after the main witness testified.

According to Waite’s attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson, the witness testified that he had a telephone conversation with her client, but acknowledged that he did not know the former senator before and that the conversation was brief.

"To establish that the person he was speaking to was Basil Waite he would have had to be familiar with Basil Waite’s voice. He was not so familiar with Mr Waite’s voice," she explained.

In addition, Neita-Robertson said the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice require prosecutors to prove that when Waite telephoned the witness he knew that the case was before the courts and that he was asking the witness to do something that was unlawful.

"They couldn't establish any of that," she underscored.

She said prosecutors asked for and received a short adjournment to contemplate their next move before informing Parish Judge Vaughn Smith that they were offering no further evidence against the former senator.