The Immigration Department on Friday prevented embattled former Registrar of the High Court, Vanessa Tamara Gibson-Marks from leaving St. Vincent, less than 24 hours after she was granted bail on theft, abuse of office, and false certification charges.
“Yes, it is so,” Chief Immigration Officer, Stanford Hamilton told I-Witness News.
“The information received is that there is ongoing investigation in which Miss Marks was needed and she was stopped,” Hamilton said, when asked why Gibson-Marks was prevented from leaving St. Vincent.
Marks was granted EC$30,000 bail with one surety when she appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, less than 24-hours after she returned to St. Vincent for the first time since she left on May 21, about 90 minutes after Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan demanded her resignation during a meeting.
The court did not ask her to surrender her travel documents.
“The court granted Miss Marks bail, and there were conditions in relation to the bail that was granted. The issue at hand had nothing to do with the bail which she was granted,” Hamilton told I-Witness News.
Asked what were these conditions, Hamilton said: “The condition in which she was granted bail was already stated on the bond. That had nothing to do with the issue in which she was stopped.”
Gibson-Marks checked in to travel on a one-way ticket to St. Lucia last Friday on LIAT flight L310, which was scheduled to depart St. Vincent at 7:15 a.m.
She was unchecked and her bags removed at 7:03 a.m.
The flight was initially booked by Duane Daniel — one of Gibson-Marks’ lawyer — in Daniel’s name last Thursday (Aug. 21), the same day that Gibson-Marks appeared in court.
The ticket was held until 7 p.m. on Aug. 21, then the hold was extended until 7:10 a.m. on Friday (Aug. 22).
On the morning of Aug. 22, a request was made for a change of name from Duane Daniel to Venessa Gibson and US$168 was paid for the flight.
Gibson-Marks was assigned seat 9B on the aircraft and a bag was checked.
She was unchecked 12 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart.
Gibson-Marks pleaded not guilty to the charges against her and is scheduled to re-appear at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Oct. 7, 2014.
She is also expected in court next month to give cause why she should not be disbarred from practicing law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.