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Delay in Frank Smith appeal

Former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Frank Smith must wait another two months to learn whether he will face a second trial on charges of bribery and extortion.

Justices of appeal Jon Isaacs, Stella Crane-Scott and Roy Jones will now hear a challenge to Smith’s acquittal on charges of bribery and extortion on May 14.

Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt on February 1 acquitted Smith on allegations that he extorted $60,000 from Public Hospital Authority (PHA) contractor Barbara Hanna after he allegedly assisted her in getting a half-million-dollar contract to clean to the Critical Care Unit at Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the decision to accept no-case submissions at the close of the prosecution’s case.

However, yesterday, Director of Public Prosecution Garvin Gaskin requested an adjournment because of the late arrivals of the transcript.

By contrast, Smith’s lawyers said they were ready to proceed.

Damian Gomez, QC, said that his team had provided the Crown with copies of transcripts relied on by the magistrate “in the hope that the matter would be heard and disposed of with expedition”.

However, Isaacs said that the panel also needed more time to peruse the transcripts they had just received on March 15.

Gomez said that the Crown had failed to comply with the Court of Appeal Act by not specifying the grounds of appeal.

Smith’s Jamaican Queen’s counsel, K.D. Knight, added, “I had come prepared to commence today. I am very disappointed that the matter has to be adjourned.”

Senior Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.
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