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Former Bahamas gov't minister released on bail, charged with extortion

Published:Sunday | August 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM

NASSAU, Bahamas:

A former government minister was released on US$40,000 bail after he appeared in court in the Nassau, Bahamas, charged with various counts of bribery, extortion and misconduct in public office.

Former labour and national insurance minister, Shane Gibson, is due to return to court on October 3.

Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson granted bail to Gibson, who is charged with 16 counts of bribery, 15 counts of extortion, two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and one count of misconduct in public office. A magistrate had earlier denied him bail.

He is alleged to have extorted from a private citizen a total of US$610,000 during the period January 2 to April 30. He is also accused of conspiring to extort US$500,000 from the same citizen.

Gibson is the third former member of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government to be arrested following the May 10 general election.

The others are Kenred Dorsett, who is facing four counts of bribery, four counts of extortion and one charge of misconduct in public office; and Frank Smith, who is facing 13 counts of extortion, as well as one count of attempted extortion and one count of bribery.