Sunday, 17 February 2019

Frank Smith has no case to answer

Former PHA Chairman Frank Smith was acquitted this afternoon and discharged. Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt added that Smith has no case to answer! She found that Barbara Hanna was dishonest and untruthful!

Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt in her ruling this afternoon said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support the fact that there was a meeting between Barbara Hanna and the accused prior to the award of the contract.”

No person with common sense could believe her. We at BP never did and we believe the entire exercise was coached by two sitting Cabinet Ministers in the Minnis Government – one of which, awarded Hanna a $1.8 Million contract without review by the Cabinet or the PHA Board carefully vetting the applicant who was said to have been a party to an alleged bribe. WHAT A PACK A LIARS!

Immediately following the ruling Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis Q.C. issued the following statement:

“I am pleased at today’s decision. I welcome it. I believed from the start that the case was ill conceived and that legal ethics dictated mid trial that the prosecution should have withdrawn all charges and stopped this case.
 
“We were also concerned from the beginning that this case was brought on the basis of a predetermined script and contrary to generally accepted principles applicable to the institution of charges. We will be calling on the ministers involved to resign for the role they played in this travesty or otherwise the PM will be called upon to dismiss them from his cabinet. We believed it was an abuse of process to have brought it. This began with the slave shaming of Frank Smith which was designed to prejudice the trial.
 
“This abuse of process led me to write a letter to the Prime Minister in July 2017 decrying their conduct and seeking a meeting with him to discuss these matters. Alas, there was no meeting and no remedial action taken on the part of the government.
 
“Further, I am deeply concerned about and understandably afraid for the poor citizen who does not have the resources to meet the full weight of the state in these situations. I am committed more than ever to looking into the current state of our administration of justice. 

“Thankfully, Mr. Smith has had his day in court. He has succeeded in acquittal beyond a reasonable doubt. We trust that the government leaves the matter there and Mr. Smith and his family can resume a normal life.
 
“I want to thank Attorneys K. D. Knight QC, Able Don Foote, Damien Gomez and Philip. McKenzie for their successful work on this case.
 
“I ask my fellow Bahamians to take note of how this matter was conducted and the extent to which Ministers of the Government were directly involved in its prosecution. This should cause us all to pause and consider who our leaders are and the true content of their characters.

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