Nov 24, 2018 News
Former Attorney General and People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall, was yesterday told by a City Magistrate that sufficient evidence was led against him in relation to the alleged theft of 14 Lexis-Nexis Law Reports of the Commonwealth.
In the circumstances, he was called upon to lead a defence.
It is alleged that Nandlall, between May 18, 2015 and May 29, 2015, being a bailee in the then capacity of Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, he fraudulently converted 14 Commonwealth Law Reports valued at $2,313,853, property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, to his own use and benefit.
Nandlall has pleaded not guilty to the allegation and is out on self bail pending the outcome and determination of the trial.
This ruling was handed down yesterday by Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore who ruled that Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) Prosecutor, Patrice Henry, was able to prove every element of the offence.
Nandlall, who was present in court looked on in disbelief. Magistrate Azore in addressing the courtroom said that after spending hours of perusing the evidence led by Prosecutor Henry, she was left with no option but to overrule the defence no case submission which was presented by Attorney-at-Law Glenn Hanoman.
Hanoman, in addressing the court, said that come December 6, his client will give a sworn testimony. The lawyer added that they will also try to get former President Donald Ramotar, to testify on Nandlall’s behalf.
Nandlall, on his first court appearance last year, in addressing the media said that the charge is politically motivated and that it was his constant criticisms of the sitting Attorney General Basil Williams, SC, that has landed him in hot water.
He said that he will not be cowered into making his views known about the transgressions of the Attorney General and the APNU+AFC administration. The outspoken former AG branded the charge as ‘nonsense’. He was confident that the matter will get nowhere.
Nandlall was asked why the State should pay for the books that he was using. He replied that when he took the job as Attorney General at the time, he did so at a loss of income. It was for that reason he agitated for the State to pay for the law reports that cost over $2.3M.
The arrangement, he stressed, had the blessings of the then Head of State Donald Ramotar. However, investigators are contending that because the books were bought with State funds they cannot be the property of Nandlall, and in fact, the State should not have entered into such an arrangement in the first place.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs is contending that there is no evidence of the agreement between Nandlall and Ramotar.
And even assuming that there was such an agreement, the use of public funds in this manner is a flagrant violation of the Financial Management and Accountability Act.
Nandlall was charged after the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU), an arm of the Guyana Police Force, completed investigations.
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