The trial against former Attorney General and People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament Anil Nandlall, who is charged with larceny in connection with 14 LexisNexis Law Reports of the Commonwealth, continued yesterday before Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore.
It is alleged that Nandlall, between May 8, 2015 and May 29, 2015, at Georgetown, being a bailee, Attorney- General and Minister of Legal Affairs, and having 14 LexisNexis Law Reports of the Commonwealth, valued at $2.3M, property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, fraudulently took or converted same to his own use and benefit.
The matter is being prosecuted by Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) prosecutor, Patrice Henry.
Yesterday when the matter was called in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, Sp
ecial Superintendent, Trevor Reid, who is attached to the SOCU, testified as part of the prosecution case.
Reid told the court that responding to a report of an alleged larceny of 14 Law Reports of the Commonwealth books valued $2.3M, from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, he conducted an investigation.
Reid said that after conducting his investigation into the matter, he was handed several copies of certified payment vouchers related to the Law books from the period of 2012 to 2014.
He said that on April 24, 2017, he contacted Anil Nandlall at the SOCU office, and later, in the presence of his (Nandlall’s) Attorneys Glen Hanoman and Euclin Gomes, he questioned Nandlall in relation to the Law Reports of the Commonwealth for the said period.
Reid said that Nandlall indicated to him that the books were in his possession and that they were at the home of his wife.
Reid testified that Nandlall told him that his wife was overseas and that they were separated, but she would be in the country the following day (April 25) and he (Nandlall) would hand over the books on April 26. He was sent away with instructions to return the following day with the books.
On April 26, last, Nandlall reported to SOCU and when asked by Reid if he brought the books, he stated that he received an order from the High Court and that he would not be handing over the books and handed him a copy of the court order which was dated April 25. He reported to his superiors what had transpired between him and Nandlall and he was sent away.
Reid told the court that several other persons were questioned. He said he visited the Republic Bank, through which the money was transferred to LexisNexis. He then made a written request to get the documents which showed evidence of the money transfer. He received attachments, an invoice to LexisNexis, receipts, cheques and copies from the bank.
Reid added that he then conducted further investigations into the matter, after which he compiled a report and sent it to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who advised that Nandlall be charged.
It was then Indira Anandjit’s turn to take the witness box. Anandjit told the court that during the year 2012, she was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Legal Affairs. She said that one of her responsibilities was to look into all financial transactions up to $250,000 from the consolidated fund.
She told the court that it is normal that requests for money are made by various heads of sections, either verbally or written. Following the request, she said, quotations are sought to determine which vendor the Ministry would purchase material from. She added that she can only approve up to $250,000 and anything beyond that would have to go to the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.
The witness told the court that she did not order the Law Reports of the Commonwealth, because when she joined the Ministry the quotation for the purchasing of the books was already done.
She said that she received an invoice for payment from the Attorney General’s office in relation to the Law books, and she asked the accountant if it was a norm for the Ministry to pay for the books, and the accountant answered in the affirmative.
Anandjit said that she then asked the accountant if she had seen any of the Law books, and once again she answered in the affirmative.
Anandjit recounted that she then went to Nandlall’s office where she told him that she was in receipt of an invoice, and he said that the invoice should not have been sent through her department. She said that in May 2015, one volume of the Law Reports of the Commonwealth was sent to her, and she took the book to the AG’s Chambers, and he said that he was in possession of the remaining of the books.
The witnesses added that when the last volume of Law Reports of the Commonwealth books arrived, she was unable to locate the order, so she went to Nandlall, who told her that he was going to meet with (Attorney General) Basil Williams to discuss her concern.
The witness said the following day Nandlall called her and explained that he had met with Williams and had explained the situation with the books and that she need not worry.
Both witnesses were cross examined by defence counsel and the matter was adjourned until April 5.
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