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Gomez Calls For Commission of Inquiry Into Police Practices

Damian Gomez

Queen’s Counsel, Damian Gomez is calling for a Commission of Inquiry  into Police practices  in the aftermath of the bribery and extortion case of former Member of Parliament Frank Smith.  

Mr. Gomez, a key player on Smith’s defense team, holds firm that not only was there misconduct on the part of the police and Attorney General’s office, but complicity by several agencies of the government and political persecution.

It speaks, he said to a level of political tribalism, malice in its purest form.

“This is pure evil where politicians would get up in the House of Assembly, and to a man, condemn people who they know are being brought before the courts,” he said. 

“They then orchestrate a series of events designed principally to humiliate those persons and any all persons associated with them, is that really what we want in this country.”

Mr. Gomez said that the two Cabinet Ministers who influenced the case against Smith should take responsibility and resign. “If they don’t have the moral fortitude to do so, then the Prime Minister should fire them.”

 The Defense lawyer also called for the resignation of Attorney General Carl Bethel for the abuse of his office.

Smith was arrested in 2017 on charges of extortion and bribery.

The allegation was the former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman had extorted $60,000 from Barbara Hanna after granting her a contract to clean the critical care block of the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands later awarded Hanna a second substantive contract that Mr. Gomez said she wasn’t even qualified to bid on.

“We know that she did not pay VAT, we know she didn’t pay national insurance, we know she hadn’t paid her business license fees and that there was no settlement between the financial secretary and her in relation to these matters,” he said.

“And we know that that settlement came about in June 2018, that is evidence we had to go to court, in the supreme court, and get a supreme court order to have it produced.”

Now, throughout the trial, Smith maintained his innocence.

After months on end of testimony from several witnesses including Hanna,  Dr.  Sands and National Security Minister, Marvin Dames, the former Progressive Liberal Party MP was acquitted of all criminal charges.

But, Mr. Gomez said, at this point, no amount of money can properly and appropriately vindicate a person who has been maligned in the way Frank Smith has by the Minnis administration.  


“We can sue the government but this is beyond money,” he said.

“His picture made the Times in Bombay, his reputation as a financial services provider has been internationally ruined, that is the effect of it. 

“Two, three million dollars, what does that mean, if you don’t have your name and that really is where we are,” said the lawyer.

The government has indicated plans to appeal Friday’s ruling, but according to Mr. Gomez, at this point, no notice of appeal has been served.

“They may find that we are more aggressive in attempting to have the grounds of appeal struck out as being frivolous, vexatious, and an abusive process in the court of appeal,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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