Nandlall could face criminal charges

Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall could find himself before the courts facing criminal charges for the purchase – for his personal use following an arrangement with former President

Attorney General Basil Williams
Attorney General Basil Williams

Donald Ramotar – of the Commonwealth Law Books, which was made with funds from the Ministry.

This is according to the current Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Basil Williams on Friday at a news conference. Last month, Minister Williams disclosed that during the audit conducted to locate the $2.5 million missing books, former President Donald Ramotar admitted to the auditor that he had an arrangement with Nandlall, as part of his contract of service, for the State to buy the law book series for his personal use and so when he demitted office, he took them with him.

However, on Friday, Williams rejected the explanation, saying that the act was a criminal one and the matter has to be addressed.

“The view is that under the Auditor Act, we had rejected within a month, which we are allowed to do, that position he had offered to us… it is my position that any audit – whether forensic or otherwise – once there is a criminal offence disclosed ex-facie on the records or in the audits, the matter will go straight to the Police… it’s criminal,” Minister Williams outlined.

According to the Attorney General, the matter is now supposed to go to the Public Accounts Committee.

Anil Nandlall
Anil Nandlall

Nevertheless, when questioned whether Government would consider asking the former Minister to repay the State’s money, Williams explained that such a decision would have to be made by Cabinet.

“That’s not for me to say… that matter is really out of my hands; that matter is for Cabinet,” the Attorney General posited.

Moreover, the Legal Affairs Minister explained that Government has many such cases they are working on but do not publicise them because they do not want to alert any of the suspects. However, he noted that persons are not aware of this fact but are quick to say Government is not doing anything.

“I’m not going to essay any tactic that we are going to address. You have to recognise that if you essay certain things, men would jump the country. We already have one man who jumped the country… So who feels that we are not doing this and we are not doing that, and we must put up or shut up, it’s just a matter of time,” Williams asserted.

Meanwhile, Nandlall had previously told Guyana Times that nothing was abnormal about the arrangement for Government to stand the expense for his subscriptions for the Commonwealth Law books, arguing that this practice is done by other Government Ministries such as Finance and Health.

“I was subscribing to this particular law report over a decade before my appointment as Attorney General. When I was offered the position, one of the conditions I asked for is for the Government of Guyana to continue to pay the subscription of these books because I did not want to break the subscription,” Nandlall pointed out.

Further asked why he did not continue to pay for his own subscriptions instead of depending on State resources, Nandlall asserted that it is somewhat an entitlement just as other benefits he received from the State.

“Why didn’t I pay for my light bill? Why didn’t I pay for my own phone bill? Because they are all a part of my conditions of service,” he had responded.