Guyana Chronicle:– FORMER head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited, Winston Brassington and former Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh Monday morning walked into the headquarters of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) without being questioned and was told to return next week.
During their visit, former Prime Minister Sam Hinds and a handful of supporters were on hand picketing with placards. Singh and Brassington are already on GY$6 million bail each on charges of misconduct in public office in connection with the alleged sale of three tracts of land valued more than $900M without regard to the valuation process.
The former Finance Minister said the charges of misconduct in public office for the sale of the East Coast Demerara lands that were laid against him and Brassington are baseless. Meanwhile, their attorney, Anil Nandlall said although SOCU invited his clients, they were not entertained but were told instead to return next week. “This here is a human rights tragedy, and it’s unfortunate that organisations of civil society such as the Private Sector Commission, the Guyana Human Rights Association, Transparency International, Red Thread, the Guyana Bar Association, the Guyana Women’s Lawyers Association and organisations of like type are silent on this matter,” Nandlall said.
He continued: “Civil society needs to condemn what is taking place; today it is Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington, tomorrow it’s going to be you, or anyone else, when the rights of one free man is taken away, the rights of every free man is threatened.”
He said his clients have no duty or obligation to turn up at SOCU because they have already been charged; their visit is voluntary since they don’t want to be uncooperative. One of the forensic audit reports on the operations of NICIL suggests that under the PPP administration, NICIL engaged in malpractices, and had made poor decisions on behalf of the people of Guyana. The audit which was conducted by former Auditor General, Anand Goolsarran had recommended criminal and/or disciplinary actions against all those responsible for the interception of State revenues totalling $26.858B, in violation of the constitution. Goolsarran had said that several laws were broken.