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Key Witness In Smith’s Trial Tested On Loan

Various outbursts and  frustration  of the prosecution’s key witness Barbara Hanna  marked yesterday’s  trial  in the ongoing bribery and extortion  case of former Chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority, Frank Smith.  She  told the court that the truth will come out at the end of the trial. 

Defense attorney, Keith Knight QC, insisted during cross-examination    that Mrs. Hanna  was “not a truthful person”, particularly regarding her responses to his questions. 

Mrs. Hanna  on the defensive, adamantly denied not being truthful and stated that she was truthful, and that God will reveal the truth. 

“I stand here and tell you today that I am sir! God will prove the truth in this court. When it’s all over, the truth will be revealed in Jesus name! 

“I stand here today in the name of Jesus and I decree, and I declare the truth and nothing but the whole truth, so help me God I speak the truth,” Mrs. Hanna said. 

Mrs. Hanna was being questioned regarding testimony that she had given November 30, 2017, when she told the court that she did not recognize a signature on a cheque that son had gotten after being granted a loan by Pouland Limited, a lending company owned by Smith’s family. 

When asked yesterday, if she had ever seen her son’s signature, Mrs. Hanna responded  “no,” stating that when she was shown a document last year, the signature that was referenced to her was not clear. 

Mrs. Hanna  testified that she did not sign for a loan with her son Adrian Hanna, but instead only signed documents acknowledging receipt of a cheque for $3,000 because she was asked to do so by Mr. Smith to ensure repayment of the loan, because her son could no longer have salary deductions as he has resigned from his government job. 

Mrs. Hanna was also again questioned about Edgar Hanna, whom she denied knowing in November last year. Yesterday, she acknowledged that she had to know the name as it was her husband. 

When pressed about her denial of knowing him last year, Mr. Knight repeated from the court transcripts what Mrs. Hanna had stated last year. He then advised her that she had denied knowing the name as a result of being frustrated. 

Mrs. Hanna was further questioned on Tenders she submitted for cleaning several healthcare facilities in particular the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre,  which she had put in a bid for $2,376,405. Mrs. Hanna acknowledged that she had put in a bid for the project, but she was not awarded the contract. 

It was during this line of questioning that frustrated Mrs. Hanna to another outburst. 

“Whatever it is that is being presented to hide what is the truth;  it will come forth. Edgar Hanna do not have nothing and no bearing to do with the $5,000.

“It was not disbursed between that, my mortgage has nothing to do with that, all these things that are  being presented to me and last year, has no bearing with the $5,000.

“I give Mr. Smith $5,000 when I paid the loan for my son. Sir with all respect, I refuse to allow people to make me look like I’m stupid, or I’m simple, or I don’t understand. But the truth about the matter is I gave him $5,000 and he know and he’s sitting here today, and he know that I gave him $5,000 in cash. 

“The bad part about it is he did not sign as proof to say he received it and I do not have a paper trail;  that’s the thing about it, but I give him $5,000 from after I get the first payment from the contract at PMH up to April, I gave him the last $5,000. In May I didn’t give him none,” Mrs. Hanna said. 

She charged that he had called her for it, but she did not go to him. 

“I Barbara Hanna went to Mr. Smith office on Village Road every time after my checked cleared, three days after and I present him with the envelop and only me and him be in that office and the doors closed,” Mrs. Hanna said.

To her outburst, Mr. Knight called a recitation 

Calling her outburst a recitation, Mr. Knight told Hanna “the only thing that you recite as a recitation is that you gave him $5,000.  Every other aspect that you can be challenged on you have lied,” Mr. Knight said.  

Mr. Knight  questioned  the  credibility of the prosecution’s key witness. 

The prosecution alleges  that Mrs. Hanna, the owner of Magic Touch Cleaning, paid Smith $5,000 per month as  he allegedly used his position as Chairman of PHA to help her company get a contract of a little over $500,000 to clean the Critical Care Block at Princess Margaret Hospital. 

Mrs. Hanna last took the stand in December. However, not much was able to be done because the defense did not have certain documents. 

The trial resumes today at 10am. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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