NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Keith Knight, the lead attorney for Frank Smith on Tuesday argued that all 15 charges against his client be dismissed as the Crown did not provide any evidence to support its case.
Smith, the former chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority was charged back in July of 2017 with one count of bribery, one count of attempted extortion and 13 counts of extortion.
It is alleged that Smith, between April 1 and April 30 of 2016, in his capacity as a public servant, solicited $5,000 per month from Barbara Hanna for his assistance in helping her get a contract with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA)
However, during his no case submissions, Knight argued that Smith could not have given assistance to Hanna because Hanna’s company, ‘Magic Touch’ had already been approved by the PHA board to receive a cleaning contract months before Hanna testified she even met Frank Smith.
According to court evidence, PHA Legal Adviser Leslie Isaacs testified that the board met on December 22nd of 2015, to discuss the cleaning contract and made a resolution to give Hanna the job on the 23rd. She also said Smith’s role as Chairman as it relates to the contract came to an end on the 23rd.
According to Hanna’s own testimony, she said Smith attempted to bribe and extort her in March of 2016, after she met with then Deputy Prime Minister Phillip Davis who she claimed told her to meet with Smith.
Knight said there is no way Smith could have bribed Hanna because they met long after the contract was signed, when Smith no longer had authority over the contract.
Knight also said at no stage in the trial did the crown present any evidence that Hanna met Smith in 2015.
In fact, Smith said the call logs that were presented by the Crown, showed that Smith and Hanna began communicating in 2016.
Knight said Smith could not have solicited a bribe or demanded money through his office because he never met Smith until after the contract was signed.
He also attacked the credibility of Hanna, pointing to several times he said she lied on the stand.
One example, according to Knight, was when he asked Hanna if she knew Edgar David Hanna.
She responded: I do not recall.
It was then revealed that Edgar Hanna was Barbara Hanna’s husband of 20 years. She also said she knew nothing about her son getting a loan from Smith’s company Poland Loans, but it was revealed that she was a signatory on the loan.
Knight also pointed to a damming statement Hanna made on the stand when she said, “ I feel like I am being used”.
Knight told the court it would be wrong to convict Smith based on Hanna’s inconsistencies.
In fact, “he said some people lie for a reason, some people lie just to lie. Hanna does both”
The trial continues tomorrow and the Crown is expected to respond to the no case submission.