The trial of PPP Parliamentarian Dr. Jennifer Westford and Ms. Margaret Cummings in relation to the eight state vehicles, for which they forged documents and attempted to transfer to persons, is scheduled to commence on May 15.
This announcement was made yesterday by Magistrate Fabayo Azore in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, where Police Prosecutor Bharrat Mangru served statements and exhibits on the women’s attorney.
It is alleged that between July 17, 2014 and June 23, 2015, Westford attempted to transfer eight state vehicles to four persons. Cummings was also slapped with four counts of forgery.
It is alleged that she forged documents for the purchase of the eight motor vehicles.
Dr. Westford and Ms. Cummings have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been released on $800,000 and $1.2M bail respectively.
In June, 2015, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, had told the media that it was brought to his attention that some documents were sent to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), purportedly signed by the then Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry, Hydar Ally.
This was done under Ally’s letterhead, but signed by someone else.
It was Ally who directed Harmon to the discrepancy in the paperwork forwarded to GRA for the transfer of eight vehicles.
In light of the overwhelming evidence, the vehicles were returned to the government.
Dr. Jennifer Westford of Lot 55 ‘AA’ Victoria Avenue Eccles, East Bank Demerara, and Ms. Margaret Cummings of 709 Section A Diamond EBD are currently facing trial before Magistrate Judy Latchman for the alleged theft of $639, 420,000 from the state.
They have also pleaded not guilty to this charge and are out on $4.8M bail each.
According to court facts, Dr. Westford was employed as Minister of Public Service from 2001-2015, while her co-accused was the Principal Personnel Officer of the Ministry.
Cummings 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 it to the Office of the President for approval.
Approval was granted and cheques were prepared and encashed by Bank of Guyana.
It was revealed that the monies were requested to carryout various activities throughout the 10 administrative regions. But personnel from the various regions were contacted and denied ever receiving the cash. Investigations were carried out and no money was recovered.
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