SOCU questions Nandlall

first_imgLaw books vendetta…PPP says issue reeks of political persecution, witch-huntingThe Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has said on Monday that an incident involving former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, being questioned by ranks of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) — about several Commonwealth Law Books which Attorney General Basil Williams is claiming were stolen from the State — reeks of political persecutionThis incident comes days after the Opposition parliamentarian had filed a lawsuit against Williams for libel and slander consequent upon Williams continuously declaring that Nandlall is a thief.Anil Nandlall, Bharrat Jagdeo and Priya Manickchand during the hasilty called press conference on MondayNandlall has since labelled this action involving SOCU a form of retaliation; and the public feud between these two politicians continues.In a press briefing held at Freedom House immediately after his release from SOCU on Monday, Nandlall and one of his attorneys, Priya Manickchand, together with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, addressed the media on this development. They all contended that this action is the latest in Government’s attempt to distract the nation from serious problems affecting the country, and is another of Government’s witch-hunting tactics aimed at intimidating the PPP/C.WarrantSOCU officers had obtained a warrant to take possession of the law books, but Nandlall disclosed that they are in his possession at one of his premises, and he is unable to access those premises because the person who holds the keys thereto is currently overseas, and would not return until tonight.ArrangementThe former Attorney General told the press briefing that the arrangement regarding the law books had been made known to Williams back in 2015 during the transition period from one political administration to another. He reiterated that as part of his employment contract with the PPP government, the subscription fees for the law books had been stood in an arrangement similar to that involving Government paying for electricity or other amenities for its ministers.He emphasised that he had already been subscribing to the publication of the law books prior to taking up position of Attorney General with the previous administration; and his successor had never objected to this arrangement, but had in fact lamented not having prior subscriptions which he could have had paid for by the State.Nandlall said the Attorney General began making an issue of the arrangement regarding the law books only after he became the subject of intense criticisms; which began with the lawsuit against the appointment of the Mabaruma Mayor, and continued with his actions brought against Indira Anandjeet—the Permanent Secretary appointed under his tenure — and other actions leading up to the most recent courtroom outbursts.MandateNandlall has again raised concerns regarding SOCU operating outside of its legal mandate to investigate financial crimes. Questioned, the shadow legal affairs minister said he does not rule out the option of bringing legal proceedings against the entity in this regard.CorruptionJagdeo and Manickchand have also expressed concerns about the priorities of the Government and the use of the State’s apparatus to execute its campaign of political vendetta.Jagdeo has even questioned whether this matter regarding the law books represents the mass corruption which the APNU/AFC coalition had decried prior to assuming executive office some two years ago. “This becomes the big acts of corruption when they had claimed the PPP stole over $305B,” he outlined, noting that the law books are probably now worth about US$2000; or, according to Nandlall, less than two of his cellular phones.However, Nandlall disclosed that, at this time, the books are worth approximately $1.5 million.last_img