Categorized | National News


The inability of the crown’s key witness in the Frank Smith extortion trial to testify forced an adjournment yesterday.

A medical certificate confirmed that Barbara Hanna was unfit to testify in the high profile case for another six weeks.

Smith’s lead attorney, Queen’s Counsel, Damian Gomez said there’ll be a point when they will ask the court to dismiss the matter if the delay is prolonged.

When asked if there’ll be any witnesses called in his client’s defense, Mr. Gomez said he is confident the case won’t even get that far.

“Smith is disappointed that we were unable to complete the evidence for the crown, but these things happen,” Gomez said.

Smith is accused of one count each of bribery and attempted extortion, along with 13 counts of extortion.

It is alleged that the former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman solicited $5,000 a month from Ms. Hanna in procurement of a contract with the PHA.

Mrs. Hanna earlier this month told the court that she was awarded a $43-plus thousand dollar contract to clean the critical care block of the Princess Margaret Hospital.

After receiving the cheque, Smith demanded she pay him $5,000 per month for a year, totaling $60,000.

Mrs. Hanna claimed she made her first $5,000 payment to Smith in April 2016 and continued said payments until April 2017.

This past May, she ended the payments, indicating that she no longer could afford it because she was behind in her NIB and VAT payments.

The case resumes on February 15th for a status report on Mrs. Hanna’s health.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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