Categorized | National News

Former MP Granted $50K Bail

Two days after being taken into custody, Former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Member of Parliament (MP) Frank Smith has been released on $50,000 bail.

This move follows his arraignment and subsequent bail hearing on Friday past.

As his wife, in-laws Franklyn and Sharon Wilson, Bishop Neil Ellis, family, friends and colleagues looked out, Smith stood before Chief Magistrate Joyanne Ferguson-Pratt to answer 15 charges which included 13 counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion and another count of bribery.

It is alleged that between April 1 and April 30, 2016, Smith demanded to extort $5,000 from Barbara Hanna.

The former Public Hospitals Authority chairman was also accused of extorting a total of $60,000 from Ms. Hanna.

This stemmed from the allegation that he solicited $5,000 per month from her between April 1,  2016 and April 30, 2017.

There was also an attempt to extort charge of $5,000 between May 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.

The final count of bribery is connected with the same incident.

Smith pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt noted that the dockets have no witnesses.

This leaves the crown to disclose the full case in order for the accused to defend himself.

The crown meantime argues that there are no witnesses’ signatures, as they are gravely concerned about intimidation.

This as the prosecutor referenced another case in which witnesses’ photos went viral.

As expected, Smith’s attorneys headed to the Supreme Court to apply for bail in the matter.

Their request was granted and Smith was granted bail in the amount of $50,000.

He is scheduled to return to court on August 18 for a status hearing.

It is also expected that at that time, the venue of the trial will be determined to have full disclosure.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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