Categorized | National News

Appeal Against Smith Dismissed

The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed an appeal to set aside the judgement of acquittal on the no case to answer submission for former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Frank Smith’s extortion and bribery case. 

The grounds of appeal were that the “learned magistrate took extraneous matters into consideration, evidence was wrongly rejected or inadmissible evidence was wrongly admitted by the magistrate and that in the latter case there was not sufficient evidence to sustain the decision.”

The appellant also argued that the decision was unreasonable or could not be supported having regard to evidence. 

It was also said that the decision was erroneous in point of law and that the decision of the learned magistrate was based on a wrong principle or was such that the magistrate viewing the circumstances reasonably could not have properly decided. 

Lastly, the appellant argued that some material illegality or irregularity, other than previously mentioned, substantially affecting the merits of the case was committed in the course of proceedings therein or in the decision. 

Delivering the decision was Madam Justice Crane-Scott, who said the court is satisfied that Chief Magistrate Joyanne Ferguson-Pratt made no mistakes regarding key witness Barbara Hanna’s reliability as a witness in determining whether the prosecution’s evidence disclosed a prima facie case, bearing in mind that the only evidence incriminating the respondent originated from Mrs. Hanna.

Therefore, she said, the appeal is unsustainable and accordingly is dismissed. 

Prosecutor Neil Brathwaite then asked for a date from the court to appeal to the Privy Council, which was subsequently rejected.

 In fact, Madam Justice Crane-Scott described the request as unusual.

Speaking to reporters outside of the Court of Appeal, a released Frank Smith thanked family, friends, PLP party members and supporters for their prayers and well wishes. 

He also said, “I want to thank the framers of our constitution that enshrined for us this system of checks and balances that would allow us to reach and arrive at this day where justice is seen to be done.”

Mr. Smith was represented by Queen’s Counsel Damien Gomez and Mr. Philip Mckenzie. 

His team was led by Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Keith Knight. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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