Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Judicature issued a Conservatory Order, preventing the State and
the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) from seizing the 15 Nexis Lexis Law reports that were bought with State funds for former Attorney General Anil Nandlall.
The order was issued by Chief Justice Dawn Gregory. It stated “that an interim Conservatory Order be and is hereby granted preventing and/or restraining officers and/or agents from the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) and/or the Guyana Police Force of the State of Guyana from seizing and/or detaining the property of the applicant.”
At issue are 15 Commonwealth Law Reports for the years 2012 to May, 2015, in the possession of former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.”
Last Monday, Nandlall along with former President Donald Ramotar was questioned by SOCU as to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the documents.
According to a SOCU source, Nandlall had given all assurances that he will hand over the reports today.
The unit is also probing computer parts that were purchased that cannot be accounted for when Nandlall was the AG.
Nandlall had previously stated 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 are still in the care of the former AG.
SOCU obtained a search warrant to retrieve the law reports but was unable to locate them since they were locked up at a house owned by Nandlall that is being rented and those tenants are overseas and in possession of the house keys.
He said that it is no secret that he and the present AG, Basil Williams SC, have had a very contentious relationship and that 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 as part of his contract as a minister that the state will foot that bill.
Howeve, 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.
The state has fourteen days to respond to the court order.
The former AG was represented by Attorneys-at-Law Mursaline Bacchus, Bibi Shaddick, Odai Ramischand, Priya Manickchand, Adrian Anamayah, Euclin Gomes, Sase Gunraj, Manoj Narayan, C.V Satram, L. Mark Conway, Sasha S. Mahadeo-Narayan, Rajendra R. Jaigobin.
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