Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jun 19, 2016 News
Parliamentarian Dr. Jennifer Westford, a former Minister of Public Service, will go on trial on July 6, in relation to charges involving the misappropriation of over $600M from the State.
However, the Member of Parliament is not facing the charges alone. Westford and her former Personal Assistant, Margaret Cummings are facing 24 simple larceny charges.
The charges allege that between August 2011 and April 2015, while being employed in the Public Service of the Government of Guyana, they stole the sum of $639.4M belonging to the state. They allegedly received the money by virtue of their employment.
They have denied the allegations and were each released on $4.8M bail.
On Tuesday last, City Magistrate Judy Latchman announced that the 24 charges will be heard jointly since they arise out of the same circumstances. She explained that one trial will be conducted and she will rule on each charge individually.
Defence Counsel Dexter Todd and Police Prosecutor, Vishnu Hunt, had no objections to this being done.
The Prosecutor had indicated that two witnesses were present in court but requested a short adjournment date to compile his file since he would need assistance from the investigating rank among others.
According to court facts, Westford of Lot 55 ‘AA’ Victoria Avenue, Eccles, East Bank Demerara, (EBD) was employed as Minister of Public Service from 2001 to 2015, while her co-accused was the Principal Personnel Officer of the Ministry.
Cummings of Lot 709 Section A Diamond, EBD was also in charge of the Ministry’s accounts department.
It was discovered that on 24 occasions Westford signed memoranda amounting to $639,420,000 and sent them to the Office of the President for approval. Approval was granted and cheques were prepared and encashed by Bank of Guyana.
The monies were requested to carry out various activities throughout the 10 Administrative Regions. However, personnel from the various regional centres were contacted and denied ever receiving the cash.
Investigations were carried out but the monies were never recovered.
In addition, the former Minister of Public Service and her former Personal Assistant Margaret Cummings were charged last August for allegedly attempting to transfer eight state vehicles and forging documents for the purchase of the vehicles.
They pleaded not guilty to the allegations. Westford is currently facing four charges of attempted larceny in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. She was released on a total of $800,000 bail.
The charges allege that between July 17, 2014 and June 23, 2015, she attempted to transfer eight state vehicles to four persons. Margaret Cummings was also slapped with four counts of forgery. Cummings is alleged to have forged documents for the purchase of the eight motor vehicles.
She has been released on a total of $1.2M bail.
This matter is still engaging the attention of the court.
Lies, Lies, Lies!!!
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