GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Former attorney general, Anil Nandlal, has given the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, until Friday to respond to his request that she reviews and discontinues the charges against two former Government officials including former finance minister Dr. Ashni Singh, who is due to appear in court on May 7.
The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) laid the charge against Singh and former head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL)/ Privatisation Unit, Winston Brassington arising out of the sale of three plots of state land.
They are accused of illegally selling the land for more than GUY$900 million.
In his letter Nandlall said that he is asking her to use her constitutional powers to discontinue the charges forthwith and that failure to do so would lead to him moving to the High Court.
“I respectfully invite a review of the said charges for the purpose of specifically considering whether the particulars of the offences disclosed any offence at law, more particularly, the offences for which the accused persons have been charged and if not, I further invite you to consider exercising the powers vested in your office by Article 187 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and to discontinue the said charges, forthwith,” he wrote.
According to the charges, on May 14, 2011 by way of an agreement of sale and purchase the men “acted recklessly when they sold Multicinema Guyana Incorporated a 10-acre tract of state land at Turkeyen for GUY$185,037,000 without first having procured a valuation from a competent valuation officer”.
They are also accused of selling 103 acres of state land, by an agreement of sale and purchase, to National Hardware Guyana Limited for GUY$598,659,398 (VAT exclusive) without first procuring a valuation.
The third and similar charge concerned the sale of 4.7 acres of land for GUY$150 million to Scady Business Corporation, “knowing that the said property was valued at GUY$340 million”
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has described the charges as “frivolous”, saying the men could not have set the price and execute the sale on their own and maintains that it was his Cabinet that granted approval for the sale. – CMC