Categorized | National News

Appeal Of Frank Smith’s Case Delayed

The case  of former Chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority Frank Smith  opened before the Court of Appeal yesterday, but was soon adjouned for procedural reasons. The Crown  in  the bribery and extortion case in the Magistrate’s Court, has appealed the Chief Magistrate’s ruling.


The former Progressive Liberal Party MP,  was acquitted of 15 counts of bribery and extortion in January, after Chief Magistrate, Joyanne Ferguson-Pratt, noted in her ruling that “there was not a scintilla of evidence to prove that there was a meeting between Frank Smith and Barbara Hanna”, the woman who the prosecution alleged accused Smith of  bribery and extortion.




The Crown, lead by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Garvin Gaskin took the matter to the Court of Appeal, however the case did not go   as the defense had anticipated as the proceedings saw the Crown requesting an extension.


The Crown submitted  that it had yet to receive and review the transcript from the trial heard in Magistrate’s Court, as well as  the the Justices had only just received their copies, subsequently seeking additional time to obtain the same.


However, there was strong objection from Smith’s lead attorney, Queen’s Counsel, Damian Gomez, who in turn noted that while it was true that they had not received, from the court  the transcript, during the preparation for the Court of Appeal hearing, they collaborated with the lawyers from the prosecution to  compile a record “in the hope that the matter is argued and disposed of”.


Mr. Gomez further submitted that a copy of the same was provided to the crown.


The Appeal  Justices, Jon Isaacs, Stella Crane-Scott and Roy Jones, however, opted to adjourn the matter as they too had only received the court transcripts on Friday.


In allowing  the extension, Justice Crane-Scott told the attorneys that material was missing from the transcript, particularly arraignment date, charge sheet and plea, as there had to be amendments during the status hearing before the Magistrate.


Mrs. Crane-Scott noted that the missing information was needed for her to acquire a full understanding of the trial.


One of Smith’s attorney, Queen’s Counsel, Keith D. Knight, noted that he was “a quite disappointed but understood the ruling of the court”.


As he is from Jamaica, Mr. Knight was  given time to confirm a date with his office in Jamaica to when he would be available to return to Nassau.


The new trial date is set for May 14. The Crown’s team includes Kendra Kelly and Al-Leecia Delaney.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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