The lawyers representing former Ministry of the Presidency Permanent Secretary, Omar Shariff, and his wife, Savitri Hardeo who are accused of failing to comply with a court order, yesterday requested more time before their clients lead defence in the matter.
This request by the lawyers comes weeks after Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore overruled a no-case submission by the defendants’ attorney, Sanjeev Datadin.
Yesterday when the matter was called in the courtroom of Magistrate Azore, both Shariff and his wife, Hardeo, were present in the courtroom.
However one of the lawyers indicated to the court that Attorney-at-law Datadin was not in the jurisdiction and was requesting an adjournment into the matter.
The Magistrate adjourned the matter until November 26, next, when Shariff and Hardeo are expected to lead their defence in the matter.
Shariff, 46, and his wife, Hardeo, both of Lot 36 Dowding Street, Kitty, Georgetown, are facing a criminal charge before Magistrate Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
It is alleged that on or after October 14, 2016, in the Georgetown Magisterial District, Shariff failed to comply with a production order dated October 6, 2016 made by Chief Justice (CJ) Yonette Cummings-Edwards to produce certain named documents stated therein to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sydney James (Head of the Special Organized Crime Unit), not later than seven days after service.
The order was served by a marshal of the High Court, on the said Shariff.
The duo was initially released on self-bail and ordered to lodge their passports with the court until the hearing and determination of the case.
According to information, in October, 2016 the former Chief Justice granted a production order, which compels individuals or organizations to produce information to help assist in an investigation. The order was for both the former PS and his wife. The two apparently did not comply, despite being reminded and written to by SOCU to provide the requested information.
On June 30, 2016, Minister of State Joseph Harmon sent Shariff on leave, pending investigation by SOCU.
Shariff has been under investigation after over $500M could not have been accounted for in payment to the Public Service Ministry.
Investigators found several large sums passing through bank accounts and launched a separate probe. That investigation was probing how billions of dollars passed through Shariff’s bank account from as far back as 2010, after records showed that he and his wife purchased shares in companies, which were placed in her name.
There were hundreds of transactions in several bank accounts, which were held at different commercial banks.
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