Oct 20, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – The charges against Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, that alleged the theft of law books was on Friday discontinued.
Following a letter from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C, to Magistrate Fabayo Azore in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, the charges were discontinued based on the directions in the letter.
Nandlall had denied the charges which alleged that between May 18, 2015 and May 29, 2015 while being a bailee, in his then capacity as Attorney General, 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.
The charges were instituted against Nandlall in 2017 by the Special Organized Crime Unit (S.O.C.U), an arm of the Guyana Police Force.
Magistrate Azore last year ruled that there is sufficient evidence against Nandlall for him to answer to the charges. Nandlall then approached the Court of Appeal, to request a judicial review of a decision by Magistrate Azore to overrule a no-case submission in his trial for the alleged theft of Law Reports.
The Appeal Court in its ruling had said that it will not intervene in the matter as the trial is already underway. However, earlier this year Nandlall moved to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to overturn the Court of Appeal’s ruling.
Nandlall was previously reported as saying that when he took up the post as Attorney General, he did so at a loss and it was for that reason he agitated for the State to pay for the Law Reports.
He had said that the arrangement received the blessings of then Head of State, Donald Ramotar.
However, S.O.C.U investigators had contended 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.
There were also reports that suggest that there was no evidence of an 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.
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