Police investigating outsourced cases under PPP -AG Williams – Nandlall to be questioned – several cases outsourced without a trace by former AG
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, May 17, 2018
Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC., says lawyers to whom cases against the state were outsourced under the previous PPP/C government may have to face charges for failing to hand over said cases to the AG Chambers.
The AG speaking during a press conference hosted on May 16 said the former AG, Anil Nandlall failed to notify him about a number of these outsourced litigations during the official handing over in 2015.
He questioned, “Why didn’t Mr. Nandlall hand over the cases that he has outsourced? Why didn’t he? If he didn’t hand over how can I go and look for cases?”
The Attorney General said the Solicitor-General, her deputy and the lawyers working in the Chambers were unaware of the legal actions as well.
After losing the $446M Dipcon Engineering Limited case in November 2017, AG Williams said letters were sent to several attorneys, asking whether they are working on cases outsourced by the former administration.
Among the lawyers were Ashton Chase, Roysdale Forde, Ashton Chase, Bernard De Santos, SC, Neil Boston, Ralph Ramkarran, SC, Nigel Hughes and Sase Gunraj.
The High Court and Court of Appeal were also written to by the AG Chambers to provide a list of cases involving the AG.
AG Williams said information on larger cases are not forthcoming, however, after the $1.7B judgment in the Toolsie Persaud case, Chase informed the Chambers of the judgment.
That attorney has since provided information on smaller cases filed under the previous administration.
AG Williams said there was no system in place at his office indicating which attorneys were dealing with matters involving the state and many of the cases were outsourced “without a trace.”
“I believe that people need to start being charged now…anyone who continues to proceed with a case not handed over, I would take criminal action against them”, he warned.
The matter has been handed over to the Guyana Police to investigate. The AG said Nandlall has to be questioned by the police as to how many matters he outsourced “because we cannot be discovering when judgments are made that these cases exist.”
The AG Chambers is also exploring the creation of an e-registry to track cases.
By Stacy Carmichael
Images courtesy Gajuan Jordan