Categorized | National News


Noted Jamaican Defence lawyer K. D. Knight made a  “No case to answer submission” in  the Frank Smith  bribery and extortion case in the Magistrates Court yesterday.
Appearing before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, the Queens Counsel argued that under the Penal code  under which Smith is charged, “ a public officer must make the demand for bribery and extortion under the cover of his office.”

He said according to the evidence of the prosecution’s key witness Barbara Hanna, she met  Smith after the contract was awarded to her. Mr. Knight said there  were  two limbs to this. The first limb was that he did not meet her before her contract. “He would have had to assist her in getting the contract, but because he did not know her, that negated any possibility of Smith being able to assist her in obtaining the  contract.”

On the extortion charge, Mr. Knight said that Frank Smith would have had to make a demand, and there would have had to be  a detriment involved, where Smith would tell her that if she did not pay him, he would have pulled the contract.

He said Smith’s term of office was completed at the Public Hospitals Authority  and he would have lacked the authority to terminate the contract.

Mr. Knight said Smith lacked “mens rea” ( a guilty mind or  intention to commit the crime.) He  told the Magistrate where there is no coincidence of the guilty mind and the guilty act, then there is no crime.

He criticized the manner in which the prosecution headed by  Edward Jenkins, a British Queens Counsel  handled  the evidence.

Mrs. Ferguson-Pratt  addressing both Counsels, said  if there is no coincidence of the guilty mind and the guilty act, she does not see if the case can go any further.

Mr. Knight said that he anticipates that the prosecution will say that Barbara Hanna was mistaken when she gave her  evidence.

Smith is accused of extorting $60,000 from Hanna, whose Cleaning Company was given a contract to service the Critical Care Unit of the Princess Margaret Hospital when he was Chairman of the PHA.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook