Jul 02, 2016 News
While others are worried about the sloth to take legal actions against those white collar criminals fingered in the various forensic audits, diplomats seem united in their position that the important thing is for justice to be served.
Just recently, the outgoing United States (US) Deputy Chief of Mission, Bryan Hunt, said that those who steal state resources must be prosecuted.
Hunt described the findings contained in the various reports as “alarming.” He told Kaieteur News that prosecution is the only way to deter similar actions to those highlighted in the audits.
However, Hunt said that the government needs to allow law enforcement to do their investigations and stressed that he was not suggesting that the process of doing so needs to be rushed.
United Kingdom High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, made similar remarks. He too thinks that while there is a long wait, the most important thing is that there is justice in the end.
The diplomat said that time needs to be given to those who have to prepare the various cases so as to allow them to build as strong a case as possible.
Quinn said, “I think what is important about the audits is that there is a close and detailed examination of the results so as to allow those who would ultimately do the prosecutions to build as firm a case as possible.”
He said that building strong cases will most likely take time to prepare.
“Sometimes these things take time but I think ultimately there will be prosecutions. Once the evidence is present, there should indeed be prosecutions,” the High Commissioner stated.
Quinn said that there has indeed been lots of audits, “I guess there is a lot for the relevant authorities to look through, but as soon as they are ready I would expect prosecutions to follow once there is evidence; and certainly on the basis of what is being published (in the media) there is indeed strong evidence for the professionals to work with.”
When he spoke to Kaieteur News, US envoy Hunt said, “We love to use the word irregularities, but what we are really talking about is theft. We need to figure out who stole the money.
“We need to figure out where it is and prosecute those people and if you recover any money, then it is even better. I would love to see money brought back into the state treasury, but I think first and foremost you have got to convict those responsible. If you don’t, then there is no deterrent…”
It was in May 2015 that the Granger-led administration began expending some $133M of taxpayers’ dollars on 45 of the 50 forensic audits to ascertain how the assets of the state were sold, disposed of or transferred under the previous administration.
The remaining five audits were sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Over 20 forensic audit reports have been released thus far for the public to peruse.
There have been serious revelations of corruption and malpractice highlighted in the various audits.
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