Investigators of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) will have to wait to get more answers from two former high-ranking Government officials in connection with several active fraud cases.
Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, and former head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, departed on Tuesday for the United States where they resided before returning home to face charges of misconduct in public office.
Attorney-at-law, Anil Nandlall, told Kaieteur News that Singh and Brassington had visited SOCU’s headquarters on Camp Road a day earlier. “They will return for their court dates,” Nandlall stated.
According to Nandlall, on Monday, he informed SOCU’s head, Sydney James that the men will not be returning the following Monday to answer more questions from investigators.
“I informed Mr. James that they have already been charged, placed on bail and conditions do not require them to attend SOCU,” Nandlall said.
He pointed out that on Monday, both Singh and Brassington were prepared to spend the entire day with SOCU investigators, but the officers were not present. Nandlall said that he related to SOCU that while they are prepared to cooperate with the investigations, they have no duty to do so.
SOCU investigators had started questioning Singh and Brassington with regard to over 30 land deals, which were executed under the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government.
Nandlall had explained that based on the pile of files that he saw at SOCU, the two will require several more millions of dollars in bail alone if further charges were laid.
They were placed on $6M bail each when they appeared in court on April 12 charged with three counts of misconduct in public office.
The two men were not required to plead to the indictable charges that stem from the sale of land along the East Coast of Demerara at Plantation Liliendaal, Pattensen and Turkeyen.
Following their appearance in court, Nandlall had indicated that there was absolutely no criminality involved; no allegation is made that any money is missing and no dishonesty is being alleged.
“All that is being alleged is that these properties were not sold at valuation price that is in the file. I don’t know since when this valuation officer or his valuation certificate is immutable and is something handed down from heaven that any sale that contradicts that becomes unlawful,” Nandlall stated.
The attorney stated that as far as instructions go, the sales were advertised by public tender and they were sold at a price generated by the market.
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