The High Court is set to rule on the application to stop the Magistrates’ Court proceedings filed against former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited, (NICIL), Winston Brassington.
The matter came up for hearing at the High Court before Justice Franklyn Holder yesterday.
Brassington and Dr. Singh were jointly slapped with three charges for misconduct in public office as it relates to the sale of three plots of state land while employed by the previous government.
Last month, the Special Organised Crime Unit, (SOCU), of the Guyana Police Force completed its Pradoville Two investigation and moved to institute charges against the former public officials.
However, Attorney-at-law, Anil Nandlall, who is representing the duo moved to the High Court to block the proceedings. Nandlall and his team approached the High Court to challenge the validity of the charges and for an interim stay of the proceedings. The application is being heard before Justice Franklyn Holder at the Georgetown Supreme Court.
Yesterday, Nandlall was among a team of attorney, which presented arguments in favour of granting the stay order before Justice Holder.
During the in-chambers (private) hearing, lawyers for the Attorney General Chambers also presented arguments. The latter team argued against granting the order to halt the matter before the Magistrates’ Court.
By the end of more than four hours of the private hearings, a date was set for the ruling. The court is expected to make a determination of the application by Monday, May 24, 2018. Meanwhile, in the Magistrate Court, both Dr. Singh and Brassington were placed on bail after answering to charges of misconduct in public office.
Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan placed the men on $6 million bail each and adjourned to the matter to June 5, 2018, for continuation.
In the Magistrates’ Court, Dr. Singh as Minister of Finance, and Brassington as the Chief Executive of NICIL on May 14, 2011 at Lot 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, sold a tract of land being a portion 10.002 acres of Plantation Turkeyen, East Coast of Demerara, property of the State of Guyana for the sum of $185,037,000, without first having procured a valuation of the said property from a competent valuation officer.
Another charge stated that Dr. Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington on December 30, 2008 at Lot 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, by way of Agreement of Sale and Purchase without due diligence, sold to Scady Business Corporation, a 4.7 acres tract portion of Plantation Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, for $150M knowing that the said property was valued at $340M by Rodrigues Architects Associate, a competent valuation officer.
The last allegation against the two stated that Dr. Ashni Singh and Brassington on December 28, 2009 at 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, by way of Agreement of Sale and Purchase, acted recklessly when they sold to National Hardware Guyana Limited, a tract of land at Plantation Liliendaal, Pattenson and Turkeyen, situated on the East Coast of Demerara, being 103 acres, being property of the State of Guyana for the sum of $598,659,398 (VAT exclusive) without first having procured a valuation of the said property from a competent valuation officer.
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