Bahamas ex-minister charged in bribes-for-contracts scheme
NASSAU (Reuters) - Bahamas former youth, sports and culture minister Lanisha Rolle was slapped with a slew of charges related to bribery and a government contracts scheme during her time as minister for deals valued at over $700,000.
Rolle was charged with one count of bribery and 14 counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false pretenses. Prosecutors say the former minister doled out more than a dozen public works contracts without proper vetting.
Rolle's husband, Vontenken Rolle, his uncle and two others were also charged in connection with allegedly obtaining money for contracts on various sporting complexes.
The accused were all granted bail and the case was adjourned until the end of May.
Rolle had resigned from her Cabinet role in February 2021 amid an audit of the country's sports authority. She has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
"I stand by my record that as minister, as far as I am aware, all proper procedures were followed, as far as I was aware as minister," the Nassau Guardian reported her saying in November, adding that "justice will prevail."
(Reporting by Jared Higgs; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sarah Morland and Leslie Adler)