Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Apr 25, 2017 News
…former President Ramotar also questioned
By Brushell Blackman
The former Attorney General under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration, Anil Nandlall was yesterday arrested by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for retaining 15 Lexis Nexis UK Commonwealth
Law reports, that were purchased by the state, for his own use.
The unit is also probing computer parts that were purchased that cannot be accounted for when Nandlall was the AG.
Nandlall had previously said that the purchase and subsequent acquisition of those documents were authorized by former president Donald Ramotar. The documents which were bought between 2012 and 2015 cost the government over $2.8M at the time they were purchased and is still in the care of the former AG.
SOCU has obtained a search warrant to retrieve the law reports but they were unable to locate them since they are locked up at a house owned by Nandlall that is being rented and those tenants are overseas.
However this newspaper has learnt that Nandlall has given all assurances to SOCU that he will be returning the books when the key becomes available. It is believed that it was this assurance given by Nandlall that ensured he did not spend the night in SOCU custody.
At a hastily called press at Freedom House after he was questioned by SOCU yesterday, Nandlall said he was not returning the books since they were his property.
Asked if the agreement that was entered into by himself and former president Ramotar was documented, Nandlall said the arrangement was a verbal one.
For his part in the affair Kaieteur News has learnt that the former head of state Ramotar was also questioned by SOCU on the law reports that he signed over to Nandlall.
Chronicling the events that led to his arrest by SOCU yesterday Nandlall said that some time around 8:30 AM yesterday while at the Vigilance Magistrate Court he received several calls from SOCU investigator, Trevor Reid.
The former AG said that when he returned the call he was asked to present himself at that unit in relation to the ‘law books’, He did. At SOCU, Nandlall said that he was required to give a statement. He said that he is of the view that this latest episode by SOCU is an attempt to silence him.
He said that it is no secret that he and the present Attorney General, Basil Williams SC, have had a very contentious relationship and it is his constant criticisms of Williams that has led to the most recent development.
Nandlall admitted that prior to becoming the Minister of Legal Affairs he paid for the books and upon becoming the chief Legal Officer of the State, the government, with Mr. Ramotar’s blessings, agreed that as part of his contract as a Minister the state will foot that bill.
However, the investigators are contending that because the books were bought with state funds they cannot be the property of Nandlall and in fact the state should not have entered into such an arrangement with Nandlall.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs is contending that there is no evidence of the agreement between Nandlall and Ramotar, and even assuming that there was such an agreement, the use of public funds in this manner is against the Financial Management and Accountability Act (FMAA).
It was only recently that Nandlall sued Williams for $125M for what he saw as libelous and slanderous claims in relation to the said law reports.
Lies, Lies, Lies!!!
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