Categorized | National News

Lawyer Points To Defects In Smith’s Bribery Case

The Crown in the bribery and extortion trial of former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman, Frank Smith, told the court yesterday that “if there is no evidence” that the former PLP Senator met with the complainant Barbara Hanna, before the cleaning contract was awarded then “the bribery charges would fail”. 

Lead prosecutor Edward Jenkins, QC, told the court however, that the Magistrate should resist all submissions made by the defense of no case and contended that the court consider the fact that there is evidence that Smith did meet Hanna before the awarding of the contract, based on Hanna’s own testimony. 

Mr. Jenkins told the court that Hanna’s prior testimony  about speaking with the former PHA chairman in 2016, which was after the board had already made a decision on the contract, was “a mistake in dates on the part of the witness”.

Mr. Jenkins added that what Mrs. Hanna meant, was that she met with Smith in 2015 and not 2016, despite her testimony.

The crown proceeded to give a chronological recount of what took place leading up to the awarding of the cleaning contract for the cleaning of the hospital. 

The crown further contends that if presiding Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt concludes that there is no evidence of a meeting between Smith and Hanna, the bribery charges fail. 

However, lead defence attorney for Smith, Queens Counsel, Keith Knight reverted to the testimony of Hanna, whom  he said testified on more than one occasion that she met Smith in 2016. 

In Tuesday’s proceeding, Mr. Knight dissected the testimony of Hanna, attacking her credibility, insisting that Hanna lied giving inconsistent evidence throughout her testimony. 

The defence attorney further claimed that if Hanna was extorted, why did she continue  to borrow from the “extortioners” lending company, Pouland, and this despite knowing of other lending institutions. 

Besides  seeking to pick  apart Hanna’s credibility, Mr. Knight also sought to poke holes at her testimony that she felt she was testifying under pressure and against her will and that she was being used.

Mr. Knight wrapped up his no submission case by revealing what he called defects in the prosecution’s case, inclusive of: “the documents presented by the crown corroborates the defense arguments  that evidence from PHA tends to contradict the crowns case and where it doesn’t contradict, does not support the evidence given by Hanna. 

The crown contends that Barbara Hanna  paid Frank Smith $5,000 per month between 2016 and 2017 after he  assisted  her securing a cleaning contract for the Critical Care Unit of the Princess Margaret Hospital.

The trial resumes today. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook