I'm a man of influence, doctor tells cop he allegedly tried to bribe
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Prosecutors today revealed that they have a video recording of prominent medical doctor, Jephthah Ford, telling a policeman he tried to bribe that he is a man of influence.
The revelation was made as Dr Ford appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court this morning to answer a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Natalie Miller, says Dr Ford was secretly recorded as he offered money to an investigator to have criminal charges dismissed against two Surinamese men who were held in Half-Way Tree with US$500,000.
Prosecutors say in the video, Ford also boasted to the police investigator that he was a man of integrity.
Last Tuesday, the two Surinamese men were cleared of criminal conduct when Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey instructed that all charges be withdrawn against them.
However, the Financial Investigations Division, took possession of the cash, which is equivalent to J$55 million, and is now seeking to have it forfeited to the State.
The prosecutor says a day before the men appeared in court, the lead police investigator reported that he got a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Dr Ford and who requested to meet with him.
She says wearing a hidden device capable of capturing video and audio recordings, the investigator met with Ford at his St Andrew offices and was initially offered 25 per cent to have the case against the two men dismissed and have the cash returned.
Miller says later in the conversation, Ford handed the investigator a sheet and paper and requested that he writes a figure signalling how much he wanted.
She says the investigator wrote 50 per cent, but Ford drew a line through that figure and wrote 40 per cent, telling the policeman to trust him because he is "a man of influence and integrity".
Ford, a former PNP northwest St Andrew candidate, smiled as the allegations were being read out.
He was later granted bail in the sum $1 million dollars.
Ford has been ordered to surrender his travel documents and a stop order has been placed against him at the ports.
He is scheduled to return to court on May 9.
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