All are innocent until proven guilty – Min. Harmon

DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 30, 2018

A reaction to the recent charges by the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) against Opposition Member of Parliament and former Minister of Housing, Irfan Ali was sought from Minister of State Joseph Harmon at today’s post-Cabinet press briefing. An enquiry was made about the Opposition MP serving as a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) following the charges levelled against him.

Minister Harmon said, “When the Parliament meets, the processes in the Parliament will determine that. We have a system of laws in Guyana that says a person is innocent until proven guilty. In fact, if there is any need for further action, I believe it would be guided by that basic principle as to how we act and how we behave in public life.”

The State Minister reminded that the issues were before the courts as it was sub-judice.

Former Minister of Housing, Irfan Ali was, on Wednesday, released on self-bail on charges of conspiring to defraud the government of a total of GYD$172.6M by selling lands below their valued prices. Ali faces 19 indictable charges for conspiring with unknown persons to sell lands at Goedveragting-Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara for GYD$39.8M. SOCU said the lands were valued a total of GYD$212.4M at the time of their sale.

The case continues on January 7, 2019.

Paul Mc Adam.

Image: Department of Public Information.