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Witness’ Credibility Questioned In Extortion Case

The credibility of the prosecution’s lead witness  has come into question in  third day of former Public Hospitals Authority chairman, Frank Smith’s extortion trial.  This, according to Counsel for the defense, “would destroy the very foundation of the prosecution’s case.”

During the defense’s cross examination, by lead attorney Keith Knight, QC, Barbara Hanna, owner of Magic Touch Cleaning Company, without being asked told the court that she had provided documents to the police that indicated that she was paying monies on a Bank  loan.

Mr. Knight while attempting to show the “improbability and the impossibility” that Mrs. Hanna was paying Smith $5,000 per month while paying a Bank  loan as well as her employees suggested that Hanna could not do such,  as she also had a judgment against her from the Supreme Court for delinquent payments on a mortgage loan.

Mrs. Hanna, who admitted that she had two loans taken out at Pouland Limited, a company owned by Mr. Smith’s family, testified that she was not getting a salary as a result of having to pay Mr. Smith $5,000 as well as her loans and staff.

“I couldn’t pay myself when I was paying Smith, buying supplies”, Mrs. Hanna said

Mr. Knight asked “You have these contract, all these people to pay and you are getting nothing from it? You never said to Mr. Davis, ‘I get the contract, but I have to pay $5,000 a month’?”

Mrs. Hanna replied: “Why should I go to Davis? No sir, if I did that, I may not have gotten the contract and helping people get employed.”

Mr. Knight suggested that she was “telling the court a number of untruths”.  However Mrs. Hanna told the court that PHA was not her only contract.

At this point, she  voluntarily told the court that she has contracts with private companies and offshore banks, and that those were what sustained her.

Mr. Knight also inquired of Hanna if investigating officers requested to see her bank account, to which she told the court no.

Mrs. Hanna did admit at this point that she told the officers about her loan with Pouland Limited and that she provided and showed police that she was paying Commonwealth Bank.

Mr. Knight then told the court that the defense did not have this document in their possession and argued that the prosecution did not disclose all the documents to them, and that the prosecution was obliged to turn over all documents.

The matter was stood down as to allow prosecution to consult with the investigating officers about the claim that Mrs. Hanna had made.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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