Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is of the opinion that the operations of the APNU+AFC Government is far from being above board. Nandlall even said that the government is guilty of the very forms of corruption that it previously accused the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Administration of committing.
Nandlall made these pronouncements in the National Assembly during his contributions to the 2018 Budget Debates.
Nandlall sought to suggest that Attorney General, Basil Williams is out of his depths and simply cannot do the job he has been tasked with. Also, Nandlall said that much of the money that Williams has been trusted with cannot be located.
Nandlall told the House, “In his 2016 budget speech, our Attorney General informed us that there is a new justice sector programme designed to consolidate improvements in the justice sector and that it is a collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Guyana. He told us the following funds are allocated in relation to the respective components.”
Nandlall said that, according to Williams, there was supposed to be a setting up of a law revision office and undertaking a revision of our laws to update them to 2015. Nandlall noted that US $182,000,260 was allocated for that.
The former Attorney General also noted that his successor spoke of setting up a permanent law reform commission with a secretariat for the purpose of continuously examining the laws of Guyana and making recommendations on areas of reform. Just about US$504,000,150 had been earmarked for that project.
Nandlall continued, “Mr. Speaker there was also supposed to be mass training for judges, magistrates and prosecutors.”
Training was to be in the areas of writing decisions, sentencing, et cetera and US$42,150 was set aside for this purpose.
Nandlall said that there was also supposed to be a disposal of backlog cases by measures including the appointment of part-time judges to deal with the civil backlog within a specified timeframe. This was expected to cost no less than US$49,020.
Further, Nandlall said that the introduction of voice recognition systems for recording evidence in the criminal sections in the High Courts of Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo and the Magistrate’s Courts hearing serious offences to enhance and speed up trials: US$327,000.
He said that there was supposed to be the introduction of cybercrime legislation and a regime to train investigators, prosecutors, magistrates and judges to understand the nature of these emerging crimes. That project was supposed to cost about US$58,200.
“So here we have the Attorney General in 2016, committing a total of US$998,780 but none of these projects, to date, have even commenced. So where is this money? The Attorney General needs to tell the people of this country, where has a US$1M gone? This is a fit and proper case for SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit) and SARA (State Assets Recovery Agency) to investigate.
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