Chief Justice (Ag) Roxane George SC has discharged the Order or Rule Nisi of Certiorari in the matter in which Attorney – at – law, Anil Nandlall challenged a magistrate’s directive to issue a warrant to search his home over some missing law reports.
Nandlall, a former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of Guyana, is facing charges for fourteen (14) Law Reports of the Commonwealth (books) he allegedly stole from the State.
Nandlall had threatened to institute private criminal charges against anyone who attempted to execute a search warrant on his premises with the intention of retrieving the books. He had claimed that the reports were given to him by former President Donald Ramotar during his tenure in office.
During the trial, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan issued a warrant for a search to be conducted at Nandlall’s residence. The Magistrate had issued the warrant based on an application from the Special Organised Crime Unit, (SOCU). But, Nandlall noted that he had previously secured a Conservatory Order from the High Court which prevented the officers of SOCU from searching his properties. He therefore contended that the warrant issued by the Magistrate was in direct contravention with the Judge’s order.
In his application to challenge the issuance of the warrant by Magistrate McLennan, Nandlall requested an Order Nisi directing the Chief Magistrate to show cause why a Writ of Certiorari should not be issued to quash the search warrant issued by Magistrate McLennan to Brian Vieira, Special Superintendent of Police of SOCU, on the ground that the said search warrant was issued in excess of jurisdiction, being contrary to and in violation of a conservatory order of Chief Justice George made on April, 25 2017 and extended on the May 10, 2017 and further to June 12, 2017.
On Tuesday, the Chief Justice handed down a ruling before Principal Legal Adviser Judy Stuart-Adonis who represented Magistrate Ann McLennan, and Nandlall.
Justice George ruled that there is no evidence to show that the Chief Magistrate knew of the Conservatory Order and the matter was within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate.
The CJ therefore ordered that the Order Nisi of Certiorari granted on July 6, 2017 be discharged and costs awarded to the Respondent in the sum of $50,000.
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