NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — A former government minister was charged with extortion when he appeared in court on Thursday.

Former Minister of Environment Kendred Dorsett was charged with extorting US$120,000 from Johnathan Ash.

Dorsett was also charged with accepting bribes in the same amount.

The former minister reportedly committed the crimes between March 1 and May 9, and was charged with four counts of extortion, four counts of bribery and one count of misconduct in public office.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges and was remanded in prison.

The case is adjourned to August 31.

The news of Dorsett's arrest follows the arrest of Dion Smith, the former deputy speaker of the house was taken into custody in May in connection with an investigation at the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation.

Smith, who was chairman of BAIC at the time, was released from police custody a day later without being charged.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has pledged to weed out corruption in all government ministries.

Before the general election, Minnis labeled former Prime Minister Perry Christie and his administration the “most corrupt, the most incompetent and the most victimising government since independence.”

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