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Allegations do not deem Singh, Brassington ‘public officers’ – Nandlall tells CJ


first_imgSOCU chargesActing Chief Justice Roxane George, SC heard further arguments from attorneys representing former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, as the challenge to their misconduct in public office charges continued at the High Court on Monday.Attorneys Anil Nandlall and Ronald Burch-Smith appeared on behalf of the defendants, who were released on $6 million each.During Monday’s proceedings, Nandlall disputed the application of the British common law principle to Guyana’s laws, having cited conflicts with this country’s Constitution with the definition of a public officer. With several legal citations, the former Attorney General noted that the particulars of the offence for which the duo is charged has “no reference” that Singh and Brassington are public officers.“This is a fundamental defect, as the offence is misconduct in public office. They have made no allegation that the two men were public officers, so an important ingredient is missing in the charge, on the face of it,” Nandall outlined to JusticeDr Ashni Singh and Winston BrassingtonGeorge.He held to his position that the charge only has two elements; namely, ‘misconduct’ and ‘public office’. He outlined further that for misconduct to be occasioned, evidence would be needed to show high degree of recklessness or great dishonesty.“There must be an element of culpability,” the lawyer stressed.He stated that his legal team intends to exhibit an advertisement for the lands under question, to which the Judge responded that it should have already been done. Nevertheless, Nandall told the acting Chief Justice that it would be a worrying development for citizens to face charges for having accepted a lower valuation ($6 million against $12 million) where the lower valuation was calculated by Government’s own Chief Valuation Officer.“Our criminal law can never be so subjective, so unpredictable, so dysfunctional…If there’s another Executive Government that starts to review this Government’s Executive Policies and starts to pursue charges, where will it end?” Nandlall questioned.His colleague Burch-Smith observed that the former NICIL Head, Brassington, “never signed” the agreement.He referred the Queens Atlantic deal, where “a midpoint was chosen”, though reiterating that his client never signed the document. Burch-Smith stressed that the entire South Georgetown (including East, West, North and South Ruimveldt) and areas beyond Sherriff Street, Georgetown were all developed by Government. On these grounds, the lawyer stated, he could not understand how these actions with reference to the current case could be deemed misconduct.Justice George, however, reminded both attorneys to stick to evidence presented at the bar table.Singh, 45, of Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, and Brassington, 50, of Florida, USA, are accused of selling various properties at prices the State contends were grossly undervalued. These charges have to do with the sale of several plots of land on the East Coast of Demerara to National Hardware Guyana Ltd for over $598 million; the sale of land to Scady Business Corporation at a cost of $150 million, and to Multi-cinemas Guyana Inc. at a cost of $185 million. Bruch-Smith on Monday that he has not seen the documents relating to Scady Business Corporation.These charges were filed by Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) at the Magistrates’ Court following advice obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP), but the two former Government officials denied the allegations. Their lawyers subsequently secured stays of execution to halt the lower court proceedings while they challenge the misconduct charges in the High Court.But then another set of charges were filed against Singh and Brassington, this time over the sale of the former Sanata Textiles Complex to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII). This, like other charges, was also challenged in the High Court, and back in July, acting Chief Justice Roxane George consolidated the four ‘misconduct in public office’ charges into one substantive challenge.It was alleged that between October 26 and December 20, 2010, the duo acted recklessly when they agreed to the sale of the Sanata Textiles Complex to QAII. According to the charge, the 18.976-acre property was sold for $697.8 million, but it was valued at $1.04 billion. However, according to privatisation documents published by NICIL, the property was valued at $245 million by the Government’s Chief Valuation Officer, but QAII paid $809.5 million for the property – more than three times the Government valuation as Guyana Times had reported. The case continues on October 23.last_img read more


JOB VACANCY: HILLCREST HOUSE NURSING HOME LOOKING TO RECRUIT


first_imgJOB VACANCY: Hillcrest House Nursing Home is seeking to recruit an experienced Registered nurse to join their established team. Job Responsibilities:Candidates must have current registration with An Bord AltranaisExperience in the Care of Older Persons is essentialDiploma/ Cert in Gerontology will be an advantageExcellent remuneration package of €39 – 42k/pro rataFor further information, please contact Anne Gallagher (Director) on 0872584843 or by email to ann_p_gall@hotmail.com Closing date for applications April 10th 2015About Hillcrest House Nursing Home:A warm welcome awaits you at Hillcrest House Nursing Home.Hillcrest House Nursing Home is a purpose built facility set in quiet, discreet grounds on the outskirts of Letterkenny. The home is situated within very short drive of the local hospitals, shops, post offices, churches and the High street.We offer each individual a home in which to live as active a life as possible, to entertain family and friends, with the comfort of 24 hour Professional Nursing, Care and Support.It is this sense of homeliness, comfort and ease that creates the welcoming warmth and friendliness for which Hillcrest House is renowned and which is cherished by residents and friends alike.    JOB VACANCY: HILLCREST HOUSE NURSING HOME LOOKING TO RECRUIT was last modified: March 30th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BusinessFeaturesjobsnewslast_img read more