Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has concerns about the independence of the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Jagdeo, at his last press conference, said he noticed that Attorney General Basil Williams told the media that Williams influenced the DPP to nolle prosequi charges that the PPP filed against serving ministers of government.
Jagdeo told the media, “I have never seen a statement from the DPP refuting what Basil Williams said.”
He said that this has caused the PPP to develop “major concerns” about the integrity of the Office of the DPP.
Jagdeo said that it seems as if nothing can be done to address this concern.
“I am not sure what we can do. It (the DPP) is a Constitutional post, no one can remove the person, and we do not have that authority. Our hands are tied. Why not ask the DPP Office directly about how they have acted, what was the good governance reason that was put in the letter when they nolle prosequi the charges. Our charge was to expose corrupt activity, we would have to prove it in court. But the DPP withdrew the charges because it was against good governance,” said Jagdeo.
The DPP had discontinued the private criminal charges filed against Ministers of Finance, Winston Jordan; Public Infrastructure, David Patterson; and Public Service, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine in relation the controversial D’Urban Park Project.
The DPP in a statement noted that “in the interest of good governance in the State of Guyana such allegations ought first to have been reported to the Guyana Police Force for an investigation to be launched and the advice of the DPP sought.”
The private charges were filed by PPP Parliamentarians Juan Edghill and Vickram Bharrat, through former Attorney General Anil Nandlall.
According to the charges, the Ministers were accused of “misconduct in public office contrary to the common law.”
According to court filings, Norton, in June 2016, while serving as Minister of Public Health, authorized the rental of a Sussex Street, Albouystown property for the purposes of a drug bond, from Linden Holdings Incorporated, for $12.5M per month.
Norton had come under immense public pressure. He was part of a Cabinet reshuffle that saw him being reassigned to the post of Minister of Social Cohesion. He subsequently received the additional appointment as Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport.
Lawrence, who was appointed Public Health Minister, is accused of the unapproved single-sourcing of $605.9M in drugs and medical supplies from Ansa Mc Al Trading Ltd. for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) between January and February 2017.
The charges against the two Ministers came exactly one week after identical charges were filed by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) against Dr. Ashni Singh, former Minister of Finance, and Mr. Winston Brassington, the former head of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
Sep 18, 2018Story and photos by Zaheer Mohamed A well complied century by wicket-keeper batsman Kemol Savory backed up by a decent bowling performance handed last year’s finalist Essequibo a 90-run victory...
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