NASSAU| Two months after police officers confiscated the handgun of shady government witness Jonathon Ash, Attorney General Carl Bethel has ordered police to give Ash his gun back.
For years, the crooked businessman had been trying to secure a license for a shotgun but his applications were denied by past Police Commissioners due to his questionable character.
However, police issued a handgun to Ash in 2017 after he agreed to lie on former Labour Minister Shane Gibson in his 2019 bribery trial.
Ash, who was in witness protection, told police he needed a handgun because he didn’t feel safe. However, the jury saw through his lies and were disgusted by revelations that disgraced Assistant Supt of Police Debra Thompson brought Ash and the prosecution’s other star witness together with their attorneys to iron out inconsistencies in their stories, with the blessing of then Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson. Though judicially condemned, Thompson was promoted for her egregious behavior.
After the jury returned a not guilty verdict, officers decided Ash no longer needed a handgun and asked him to return the police-issued weapon earlier this year.
However, Ash, who is set to testify against former Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett in his stalled bribery trial, complained to the attorney general.
Bethel then ordered police to return the weapon to Ash, despite the fact that Ash was charged in 2020 with breaching COVID-19 orders.
Videos showed Ash selling alcohol at a marked up price at Made Men Sports Bar on Faith Avenue while Emergency Orders prevented liquor stores from operating.
Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle lied to Bahamians during a live news conference when he said that Ash was in custody. However, Ash famously raced up the steps of the Magistrates Court like an Olympic sprinter.
After he was convicted of breaching COVID orders, liquor from Made Men bar was confiscated and he was charged by Bahamas Department of Customs with operating a liquor store without a valid business license along with other customs breaches. However, AG Bethel refused to have Ash charged before the courts with these offenses because he is expected to testify against Dorsett.
This is the same AG who stated on Tuesday that no one is above the law in response to backlash over the arrest of DNA Leader Arinthia Komolafe, who was taken into police custody for unlawful assembly three weeks after she led a DNA protest in Rawson Square.
However, Bethel neglected to mention the same rule does not apply to people willing to lie to advance the Minnis Administration’s political agenda.
The AG’s order for police to reissue a handgun to Ash comes as Commissioner Rolle told the public that he answers to the Constitution, not politicians.
Ironically, he quickly instructed his officers to return the gun to Ash after getting orders from the AG.