Categorized | National News

Frank Smith Acquitted

Former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman, Frank Smith has been acquitted and all charges against him have been dropped.

Chief Magistrate Joyanne Ferguson- Pratt in her analysis of the evidence presented in the 14-month long trial said “ there was not a scintilla of evidence to prove that there was a meeting between Frank Smith and Barbra Hanna to justify the 12 charges against him.

The Chief  Magistrate noted that throughout the trial there were too many inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution’s key witnesses, Barbra Hanna.

She also pointed out the Hanna over the course of the trial mentioned on more than one occasion that she felt used and was forced to give evidence.

Ferguson- Pratt said that she came to the conclusion that Hanna was untruthful when it suits her purpose and was evasive with her answer during cross examinations.

She added that Hanna may have been dishonest because of the $2 million contract granted by Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands to clean the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center.

The Chief Magistrate also pointed out that she found it unorthodox that Hanna while being extorted by Smith, went to him for a loan when she was experiencing financial difficulties.

She also pointed out that throughout the course of the case, the prosecution called 9 witnesses whose testimonies she said were not at all cohesive. She added that the witness’s testimonies undermined the prosecution’s case.

She said that there was no evidence to prove that Smith assisted Hanna in getting a cleaning contract and no evidence to show that Hanna made payments to him in an effort to keep said contract.

The Chief Magistrate added that it was her view that Barbra Hanna was not a credible or reliable witness.

This resulted in the Magistrate coming the conclusion that a sufficient case was not made by the prosecution to result in Frank Smith having to answer to those charges.

Immediately following the analysis of the evidence, the Chief Magistrate pointed out what she called the presence of political favoritism in the case.

This went hand-in -hand with respect to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands telling Hanna to meet National Security Minister Marvin Dames to inform him that she was allegedly being extorted instead of instructing her to meet with the commissioner of police.

She also pointed out the role the Health Minister played in the second cleaning contracted being awarded to Barbra Hanna by the Dr. Sands which wasn’t approved by the board of the Public Hospital Authority.

Ferguson- Pratt said she found the actions of both ministers very inappropriate.

Supporting Smith was Former Prime Minister Perry Christie, PLP Leader Philip Davis, Former PLP MPs Jerome Fitzgerald, Shane Gibson, Former PLP Senator Keith Bell, and Englerston MP Glenys Hanna- Martin.  

Not  present was lead attorney for the prosecution Edward Jenkins QC.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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