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Statement by the Leader of the Opposition

On the Frank Smith Case

For Immediate Release

1 February 2019

I am pleased at today’s decision. I welcome it. 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the start that the case was ill conceived, and that legal ethics dictated mid trial that the prosecution should have withdrawn all charges and stopped this case.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.

This 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 want to thank Attorneys K. D. Knight QC, Able Don Foote, Damien Gomez and Philip. McKenzie for their successful work on this case.

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.

Once again, I believe that justice has been served in this matter.