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Plp Will Call For Ministers Involved In Frank Smith Case To Resign

PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Progressive Liberal Party will call for the resignation of ministers involved in the bribery case of Frank Smith, the former chairman of the Public Hospital Authority who was freed of the charges Friday afternoon, according to Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis.

Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt threw out the charges against Smith on Friday after finding there was not a sufficient case to answer.

PLP supporters were jubilant after the ruling. It came nearly six months after Mr Smith took the humiliating walk in handcuffs toward the Nassau Street courts to face 15 charges, including 13 counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion and one count of bribery.

For weeks observers were treated to bizarre headlines concerning the testimony and conduct of Barbara Hanna, the virtual complainant in the matter.

Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said she was not a credible witness, highlighting discrepancies and inconsistencies in her testimony.

She said the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses did not match. She also questioned whether the case was politically motivated. In particular, she criticized National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Health Minister Dr Duane Sands, both of whose involvement in the matter forced them to testify last year. Her comments are already being seized by the PLP which have been eager to turn the tables on the Free National Movement and its corruption narrative.

In the lead-up to the 2017 general election, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis placed anti-corruption at the centre of his election platform. The charges against Mr Smith were seen as flowing from his commitments.

“I am pleased at today’s decision,” Mr Davis said in a statement. “I believed from the start that the case was ill conceived and that legal ethics dictated mid-trial that the prosecution should have withdrawn all charges and stopped the case.”

“We were also concerned from the beginning that this case was brought on the basis of a predetermined script and contrary to generally accepted principles applicable to the institution of charges. We will be calling on the ministers involved to resign for the role they played in this travesty or otherwise the PM will be called upon to dismiss them from his cabinet. We believed it was an abuse of process to have brought it. This began with the slave shaming of Frank Smith which was designed to prejudice the trial.”

“The abuse of process led me to write a letter to the prime minister in July 2017 decrying their conduct and seeking a meeting with him to discuss these matters. Alas, there was no meeting and no remedial action taken on the part of the government.”

“Further, I am deeply concerned about and understandably afraid for the poor citizen who does not have the resources to meet the full weight of the state in these situations. I am committed more than ever to looking into the current state of our administration of justice. Thankfully, Mr Smith has had his day in court. He has succeeded in acquittal beyond a reasonable doubt. We trust that the government leaves the matter there and Mr Smith and his family can resume a normal life.”

“I ask my fellow Bahamians to take note of how this matter was conducted and the extent to which ministers of the government were directly involved in its prosecution. This should cause us all to pause and consider who our leaders are and the true content of their characters.”

On Facebook, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin called for the “immediate resignation” of two ministers, adding: “And a general election (needs to be) called.”

Comments

TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, or no - is not finally demanding justification the evidence we beloved Queen Liz to order Her Excellency Governor-General Marguerite's Government House's royal luggage packers to commence the packing we beloved Maurgurite's luggages, to set hasty by steamer sail across pond. Yes, no......... Viva Britannia to rescue!

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geostorm 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The PLP needs to have several seats. Why didnt they resign over the nonsense that they did during the previous 5 years. What a joke.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

But despite his failings he speaking sense...The thing about it is when all of them in opposition they speak perfect sense, they listening to and consulting with the right people, fighting for the small man on the street and they uncovering all the corruption. When they get in power....some strange disease is hit their brain

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

When it comes to their involvement in the Frank Smith matter, Minnis, Bethel, Dames and Sands should all resign because of their utterly disgraceful incompetence and most unethical conduct. The misconduct of these four bozos alone essentially gave Frank Smith the 'get-out-of-jail' free pass he did not deserve. As I predicted, Minnis has turned out to be the most embarrassingly incompetent PM our country has ever had. He is absolutely clueless and visionless when it comes to governing, mainly because he is so terribly blinded by his own nasty and arrogant traits.

Repost: NOW THAT FRANK SMITH HAS BEEN ACQUITTED, MINNIS IS NOTHING BUT A LAUGHING STOCK TO THE ENTIRE BAHAMIAN PUBLIC. NEXT ACQUITTAL, SHAMELESS SHANE. JUST THINK OF THE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF TAXPAYER MONEY MINNIS AND CARL BETHEL HAVE SQUANDERED ON JUST THESE TWO COURT CASES ALONE. MEANWHILE WE HAVE CHILDREN GOING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT ARE IN A DREADFUL STATE OF DISREPAIR NOT TO MENTION SO SO MANY OTHER FAILINGS OF THIS MINNIS-LED GOVERNMENT. MINNIS LET HIS WELL KNOWN NASTINESS AND ARROGANCE GET THE BETTER OF HIM FROM DAY ONE AS PM. HE'S TRULY THE VERY DEFINITION OF A CHARACTER FLAWED WEAK LEADER. LMAO

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joeblow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This does not mean he was not guilty, it only means reasonable doubt was raised. Govt did a piss poor job litigating this case!

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

There was nothing to litigate. I'm surprised the judge didn't throw it out sooner. This was raw meat fir a blood thirsty mob at a time when everyone was asking Minnis where's the plan.

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Observer 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So, where is your evidence of guilt, joeblow?

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jamaicaproud 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Big up to the big big QC KD Knight flown in from "lowly" Jamaica for such a victory.

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pingmydling 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Davis has just proved Einstein's Theory; that a man's stupidity is inversely proportional to the rotundness of his waist line.

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TigerB 2 months, 2 weeks ago

O J Simpson won his case too, he killed 2 people and won because of a lack of evidence, and it wasn't established beyond a reasonable doubt. That was the criminal trial. He was later convicted in the civil trial and the complainant, Mr. Goldman, won it. Case in point here, Frank Smith is guilty as hell!!! it just wasn't proven, that doesn't mean a crime wasn't committed. That is my 5 cents. I still amazed at how politics can cause people not to see morality. That was a sloppy investigation and witness tampering, those are some of the reasons it was tossed.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

As they say, just follow the cash. But the judge was only too quick to latch on to the grave misconduct of two cabinet ministers (Sands and Dames) as the perfect excuse for ignoring the bank account evidence. Meanwhile Sir Snake was overheard saying that he will do his utmost financially and otherwise to ensure Davis is the next PM. But the greedy George Smith (Frank's Uncle) also wants Sir Snake to fund one of the biggest law suits ever filed against The Bahamas government, even if its ultimate settlement results in honest and hardworking Bahamian taxpayers having to dole out mega millions of dollars.

Hopefully both Sands and Dames are personally named in another lawsuit filed by Frank Smith for what the judge described as their egregious actions outside of parliament that oddly resulted in both the charges that were filed against him as well as his eventual acquittal. Otherwise the public may be left to conclude that the legal actions against Smith were nothing but a hoax from the start, designed by the Smiths and Wilsons, with the duplicity of Sands and Dames, to defraud the taxpayers of The Bahamas out of mega millions of dollars by way of the lawsuit that Smith will now be filing against the government for irreparable damage done to his reputation. LMAO

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Before y'all get too excited. There is a difference between finding not guilty and no case to answer. Despite the judge reprimanding the prosecutor she left the door open for him to be recharge if the government appeal her decision. He is not out of danger yet. He would have been better off if the case had gone on and he was found not guilty.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Everybody knows money improves your outcome. The judge said the evidence was flimsy and it was. If they want to win do a better job on research

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

Most of these posters are NOT READING OR NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THEY ARE READING AS USUAL. . .she said nothing about the "flimsiness" of evidence. . .she said that she don't like the witness and the two ministers them "looked" like they did something. . .what she don't know. . .but it looked like they did something. . .IS THE JIST OF HER RULING!! The fulcrum of her paper was that "justice must not only be done. . .but appears to be done". Then she granted a no- case-to-answer ruling. . .NOT AN ACQUITTAL. . .that case is not over. . .the judge seemed "OVER WROTH" with persons against Frank Smith. . .but she was careful to not acquit nor discharge the case. . . an appeal can and will show a case to answer ruling . . . the lil man in the street see "they playing with us man". Even PLPs out here saying "he guilty". Even if the government don't appeal that case. . .Smith is dead as a PLP politician come future. . . and the threshold for civil cases are higher than criminal cases. OJ was acquitted in his criminal case on a set of evidence and found guilty in his civil case using the same evidence. . .he sues and he has to show that the government did not have reasonable evidence to call him to a preliminary review to test the evidence.

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BahamaPundit 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It seems that only when the US is involved is there a conviction of white collar crime crime in the Bahamas. Those that prosecute crimes in the Bahamas appear to simply not possess the intelligence or integrity to get a single white collar crime conviction on corruption. It is out of their intellectual league. From now on, either the US Feds and US prosecutors are involved in building and bringing the case, or it is likely going to be a waste of time and end in an aquittal.

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

It is because of our corruption levels. . .we don't send the elite. . .see Davis was found in a car with a gun and they were discharged because they did not prove who owned the gun. . .not even the owner of the car. . .none of them knew how that gun got into the car. . .including Mr. Davis' son. There was a case when one MP went to jail. . .because he "collected" money for a judge and "tief" most of it. . .he was "turned" over to police and found with the payoff money. . .the rest is history!! There are multiple MPs discovered to be involved in corruption and all walked off with their "booty". . .not even a slap on the wrists. . .ALL PLPs!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Updated repost regarding Frank Smith acquittal:

As they say, just follow the cash. But the judge was only too quick to latch on to the grave misconduct of two cabinet ministers (Sands and Dames) as the perfect excuse for ignoring the bank account evidence. Meanwhile Sir Snake was overheard saying that he will do his utmost financially and otherwise to ensure Davis is the next PM. But the greedy George Smith (Frank's Uncle) also wants Sir Snake to fund one of the biggest law suits ever filed against The Bahamas government, even if its ultimate settlement results in honest and hardworking Bahamian taxpayers having to dole out mega millions of dollars.

Hopefully both Sands and Dames are personally named in another lawsuit filed by Frank Smith for what the judge described as their egregious actions outside of parliament that oddly resulted in both the charges that were filed against him as well as his eventual acquittal. Otherwise the public may be left to conclude that the legal actions against Smith were nothing but a hoax from the start, designed by the Smiths and Wilsons, with the duplicity of Sands and Dames (and possibly Minnis and Bethel), to defraud the taxpayers of The Bahamas out of mega millions of dollars by way of the lawsuit that Smith will now be filing against the government for irreparable damage done to his reputation.

Can you just imagine all of this having been staged as a sham lawsuit from the very beginning, aimed at doing nothing more than setting up a non-defendable mega-million dollar lawsuit by Frank Smiths against The Bahamas government???!!! You really can't put anything past the likes of these corrupt political elites, whether FNM or PLP. Just look at how Christie and Minnis tag teamed the Bahamian people for decades to achieve great wealth for themselves and their cronies off of the backs of Bahamian taxpayers. And just when you think you've seen it all, the corrupt political elite finds yet another devious scheme for defrauding the public purse. My oh my...please say it ain't so!

And to add insult to injury, it's quite clear from the Bahamian judge's ruling that she agrees with the Jamaican QC's (counsel for Smith) assessment that our entire justice system is nothing but a laughing stock. Who would've thought Dimwitted Minnis and certain of his cabinet ministers would have been only too happy help Davis become the next PM???!!! LMAO big time.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Reference to tag teaming by "Christie and Minnis" in 3rd paragraph of my post immediately above s/b "Christie and Ingraham". Minnis is hoping to get a similar tag teaming in place for himself and Davis over the next two-decades or so. They reckon the voters are now dumb enough to go with the new alternating PM plan, i.e. 5 years Minnis then 5 years Davis, then back to another 5 years Minnis, followed by another 5 years of Davis and so on. Word on the street is that Davis and Minnis already enjoy sharing an occasional good stew fish meal. LMAO

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BahamaPundit 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I also found it odd that the bank records could not have been used to easily prove a verdict.

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mandela 2 months, 2 weeks ago

My interest is how much money it cost us taxpayers for this

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

Why. . .you can't google it for yasef. . .they will tell you what are estimates for lawyers that big!

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, or no - ma comrade Manuela, citizens vote, not taxpayers, yes, no?

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John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

@ Tiger B : Glen Edward Rogers a serial killer who has been linked to the murders of over 75 women, has confessed to killing Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. He worked for her, then dated her for a short while and was planning to rob her of a very expensive ring when the murders occurred. He was expecting her to come home alone but unfortunately the Goldman friend showed up. The difference is that OJ was innocent but mainstream America still feels he is guilty and so they may not even bring Rogers to trial before he is put to death for the murders of other women. The Frank Smith case was poorly prepared and hinged on evidence tampering by Marvin Dames/Duane Sands rather than seeking to bring natural evidence. So the PLP has little to celebrate except Frank Smith May be free but still guilty of being involved in bribery. And there are other matters involving millions that have greater. evidence to prosecute persons. For example the million that went missing at road traffic.

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

As usual. . .talking nonsense or just plain lying. . .Rogers said that OJ paid him to get back some expensive jewelry and kill the bitch!! Also, you conveniently "blind yasef" to the many persons who OJ told that he killed the bitch. . .vs one man who said that OJ paid him to get some jewelry and kill his wife.

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John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And the public is still waiting to know where is Marvin Smith and if he is still alive or deceased. And if he was in police custody at the time of his disappearance and possible demise.

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

This case will send a shock wave across this nation for anybody who is found complicit in this case. . . even the mother. . .the police. . .the possible victim. . .the witness. . .rights Bahamas!! I am keeping an open mind. . .this one ger be long!

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CatIslandBoy 2 months, 2 weeks ago

While the verdict in this case does not mean that Frank Smith did not commit the crime, it does point to sloppy police work. The investigation/interrogating officers did a "piss-poor" job, and it seems as those in the AG's office were not much better. It is truly frustrating to see that our D-grade average has also permeated the higher levels of our police force; or is it just that our civil servants don't give a damn as long as they are collecting a pay check. This should have been a slam dunk case for the prosecution.

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DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

D-average or don't give a damn, probably half and half.

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

My money is on the judge "cold feet" in the face of such social "Howitzers" . . .when I read the summation it makes me go mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .really! But hey. . .the case in on appeal. . .lets see if the SC too will go mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .or Mr. AG. . .you crazy aye! I take door two. . .

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Tarzan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The evidence that this country has been raped by corrupt public officials for years and years is patently obvious. Where did all these folks become so wealthy? Seriously, the country cannot prosecute this type of crime. There is far too much familial nexus to permit anyone to obtain a guilty verdict. The country needs an outside prosecutor armed with a jury pool selected from outside the Bahamas. if this corruption is not addressed, it will not be necessary to wait for global warming to sink this archipelago into the sea.

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

I do agree with you exactly. . .but I look and wait for the young people of this nation to rise and correct our national malaise and save our nation!! We too as side liners must step up and not "cover-up" for these persons just because we know them or they are family or party members. . .I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE THE PERSONS COMING UP TO SAVE US!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months ago

And all of those young people "coming up" are D- educated by our piss poor public education system. LMAO

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licks2 2 months ago

They een teaching them new children like they taught yinna. . .THAT CUT TAIL THE PLP GOT IN THE LAST ELECTION AND THE SHOCK THE FNM GOT WHEN THEY CAME TO GOVERNMENT IN 2017 AND FIND THAT THESE YOUNG PEOPLES DEM EEN TAKING CRAP FROM THEM LIKE FORMER GOVERNMENTS WERE DOING THINGS IN TH PAST. Them D-educated persons you talking about is why the DNA is not relevant because of it's naive approach to politics. . .or most political pundits around here don't make sense and gets no traction in their representations. . .THE MINDS ARE DIFFERENT. . .MESS WITH THEIR HEADS AND FIND YASEF A POLITICAL "ROAD KILL" LIKE BRAN, LBT, PGC ETC.

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