Saturday, Mar 23, 2019
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Former senator’s trial delayed by late handover of documents

The trial of former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Frank Smith, who is accused of demanding bribes from a cleaning company owner, has been adjourned again.

Attorney Damian Gomez, QC, told Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt that he needed time to review documents that he had just received.

Smith, 52, is the first member of the former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government to go on trial for alleged corruption while in office.

He has denied charges of extortion, bribery and misconduct in public office at his trial before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.

Gomez suggested that the matter continue today at 11:30 a.m.

Ferguson-Pratt said that she was unhappy over the delay as she had postponed a sentencing because of the matter.

Barbara Hanna, the owner of Magic Touch Cleaning Company, claimed Smith through his position as Public Hospitals Authority chairman, helped her get a contract to clean the Critical Care Block at the hospital.

Hanna said Smith made his first demand for payment in April 2016, one month after her contract came into effect.

Initially, she thought the money was a one-time payment, but said she was shocked to learn that Smith expected $5,000 when she received her monthly check of $43,350.89.

Hanna said that she told Smith that these payments would affect her operations.


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