“God knows I am the telling the truth!” was the pronouncement made by Barbara Hanna, who screamed in court yesterday during an emotional outburst while on the stand in the ongoing extortion case against former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Frank Smith.
Hanna, who was the crown’s star witness, became noticeably flustered after being asked by Smith’s lead attorney, Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Keith Knight, whether or not she cosigned on a loan for her son, Adrian Hanna, in June of 2016, from Smith’s company, Pouland Investments.
When asked by Knight why she signed for the loan, Hanna said it was because her son was not working and was unable to make salary deductions. However, she said, she was not sure when her son quit his job.
Knight later asked her if she would be surprised to know that her son was still working at the time of the loan and was employed up until December of 2016 at the Public Hospital’s Authority (PHA).
Hanna replied, “I cannot recall.”
When asked if she was familiar with the name Edgar Hanna, Hanna acknowledged that he was her husband of 20 years. But she was quickly reminded by Knight that she testified last November that she did not know who Edgar Hanna was. Knight called her an untruthful person.
Knight also asked Hanna if she gave any additional statements to police after he initial statement on July 3, 2017. Hanna said, “I believe I did.”
But when asked again by Knight if she had made an additional statement to police, Hanna said, “no.”
An angry Hanna told the court she did not understand Knight when he asked her questions and maintained that he was trying to confuse her.
Hanna was also asked if she spoke to Assistant Commissioner of Police Rolle about the case before she gave her initial statement and she admitted that she did for about 15 to 20 minutes, but couldn’t recall what was said.
Smith is accused of extorting $60,000 from Hanna, owner of Magic Touch Cleaning Company, after he allegedly assisted her in obtaining a contract to clean the Critical Care Unit (CCU) of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), while he served as chairman of the PHA.
British Queen’s Counsel Edward Jenkins is the lead prosecution lawyer.
The case resumes tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.