NASSAU, BAHAMAS – “If there is no evidence that Frank Smith met with Barbara Hanna before the cleaning contract was awarded, then the charges against Smith, cannot stand”. Those were the words of lead prosecutor Edward Jenkins, QC, before telling the court that Hanna was “confused with her dates” when she indicated she met with Smith in March of 2016, months after her company ‘Magic Touch’ received the cleaning contract for Princess Margaret Hospital.
Jenkins told the court that Hanna was mistaken and actually meant she met with Smith in 2015, not 2016 – despite Hanna’s own testimony that she met with Smith in March of 2016.
Those comments caused an uproar in court, as lead defense attorney for Smith, Keith Knight, QC, said he had concrete evidence that Hanna and Smith met in 2016, meaning by Jenkins own words the case should be dismissed. Knight then produced the record of the interview for Frank Smith.
In the interview, he pointed to several questions the police asked Smith while at the Central Detective Unit.
One of the questions – question five Smith was asked “It is my information that between March 2016 and May 2016 after Barbara Hanna obtained a contract you told her she had to pay you $5,000 a month?
Another question – question 10 – Smith was asked, “It is my information that Mrs. Hanna subsequently asked you, “Why I you knew you wanted the money did you not tell me that before I put in my bid?
Another question – question 11 – Smith was asked, “After Hanna told you that, you said you couldn’t do it because the contract was already in?”
Knight said these answers prove that the alleged meeting between Smith and Hanna could not have been in 2015 but was after the contract was already given to Hanna, proving that he could not have extorted her to assist her in getting a contract she already had.
Knight said because this was the whole basis on which the case was conducted there is no need for this case to carry on and it should be thrown out immediately
Jenkins then argued that the officer who questioned Smith also got the dates wrong. Also when asked if there was any evidence that the meeting took place in 2015, Jenkins said there was other evidence other than Hanna’s testimony.
Chief magistrate Joyann Ferguson Pratt then asked him, “Are you saying that what was put to the defendant was wrong and you charged him based on a mistake?”
Knight then pointed out that Smith was charged based on evidence that said 2016 and if the prosecution is now saying its 2015, the case should be dismissed.
Ferguson Pratt recessed court for 20 minutes to review the new evidence. When she returned she indicated that she needed more time to determine if the case would be thrown out. She said rushed justice is no justice at all.
Ferguson Pratt is expected to make her decision today at 10:30 p.m.