Aug 31, 2020 News Comments Off on Mingo’s detention lawful – AG Anil Nandlall
– Refutes Harmon’s claim that charges “trumped up”
Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall yesterday put on record that there was nothing unlawful about the Guyana Police Forces’ (GPF) further detainment of controversial Returning Officer (RO) Clairmont Mingo and refuted claims by incoming Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon that Mingo was being unlawfully held and that the fraud charges were “trumped up.”
Attorneys-at-Law Roysdale Forde and Darren Wade along with former Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson and Harmon paid a visit to the RO at the Spaarendam Police Station and it was after that the incoming Opposition Leader made his claims.
“Mingo has been unlawfully detained for over 72 hours in spite of a High Court order. So what we are basically dealing with is a rogue administration that keeps giving illegal directions to the police…they have brought up four trumped up charges against Mr. Mingo and certainly, these are matters we will address fully,” Harmon said.
Minister Nandlall, in proffering an explanation reminded that the RO’s legal counsel by way of a “premature and misconceived” habeas corpus application had asked that the High Court order his release from police custody on Friday but this was later withdrawn.
After that, the police made an application for extension of Mingo’s detention time and this was granted for 24 hours, with the RO expected to have been released the following day at 2:30 pm on several conditions.
Acting Chief Justice, Rishi Persaud had ordered that he report to Police Officers Mitchell Caesar, Nigel Stephens and/or Rodwell Sarrabo or the next senior officer at the CID Headquarters Eve Leary, Kingston, Georgetown, at 9:00 am daily. Mingo was also ordered to lodge his passport with the CID headquarters, and to report any change of residence to one of the officers mentioned.
However, when his Attorney-at-Law, Darren Wade, turned up at CID with the passport in hand, he was told that Mingo was slapped with four new charges by the police. The new charges reportedly have to do with mischief in public office.
The Attorney General clarified that it was because Mingo was slapped with those new charges that his detention period extended automatically.
Wade had reportedly filed another habeas corpus application that very afternoon demanding that the High Court order Mingo’s release, but this application was dismissed by the acting Chief Justice Rishi Persaud who made it clear that Mingo was slapped with four new charges from the police themselves and will have to remain in police custody until his court appearance today.
The AG added, “There was nothing unlawful and there is nothing unlawful with the police keeping him in custody until he is taken to a Magistrate where those charges will be read and where he will be put before the jurisdiction of a Magistrates court.”
Nandlall continued that as a fellow man of the law, one would expect Harmon to be aware of “the most basic and elementary principles of law.”
“…So Mr. Harmon’s contention that Mr. Mingo is being unlawfully detained is completely preposterous and must be rejected out of hand.”
Mingo was nabbed by police on Tuesday last after investigators commenced their probe into the protracted March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Later on, investigators swooped down on three of Mingo’s assistants and also arrested IT Technician Enrique Livan who was fingered in the March 4 flash drive scandal. They all remain in police custody as investigations continue.
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