There’s No Place In Our Country For State Sponsored Prosecution Of Our Citizens

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Chief Magistrate Joy-ann Ferguson Pratt scolds two Cabinet Ministers for their involvement in the Frank Smith case.

By Jerry Roker | For Bahamas Press

The acquittal of the former Chairman of the Public Hospital Authority, Mr Frank Smith, on bribery and extortion charges, augurs well for our democracy and speaks somewhat to the fairness and independence of our judicial system.

Based on evidence presented during Mr. Smith’s trial, two sitting Cabinet Ministers played pivotal roles in Mr. Smith being placed before the courts. Something must be wrong with this. Without going into the full details of their respective roles (they are already in the public domain), it seems that neither of them saw anything wrong with what they did. Well blow me down!

The Magistrate’s impassioned judgement was very touching. Every citizen ought to applaud her for her thorough and fearless rendition, which came even after another Cabinet Minister spoke about how he was offended by the remarks made by the Magistrate who adjudicated the matter involving strippers who were performing in local clubs, without proper legal status. These guys are very brazen indeed.

The bigger picture for me is that Mr. Smith had the resources to adequately defend his name. Pray tell me, had he been an ordinary  citizen of lesser means, dog would have ate his lunch!

One would expect state-sponsored prosecutions and terrorism against your political opponents in jokey banana republics and the like. Not in The Bahamas, situated on the door steps of the world’s most renowned democracy.

The brazenness of these two Cabinet Ministers is despicable, nauseating, frightening and anti-democratic. In my view, they ought to voluntarily remove themselves from public office. This is the only reasonable censure, if we want to maintain our credibility on the world stage.