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Ramotar defends Ashni, Brassy against govt “witch-hunt”

ramotar_bath

Former President Donald Ramotar.

In the face of threats by government to go after former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh for the spending of GYD$4.5 billion from the Treasury without parliamentary approval, former President Donald Ramotar is sticking by Singh.

“The fact of the matter is that Ashni Singh did nothing wrong and acted legally,” he said in a statement.

Government had spent the monies from the Contingencies Fund at a time when the Parliament had been prorogued and subsequently dissolved to avoid a combined opposition no-confidence motion.

Ramotar accused the A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition government of using the coercive arms of the State to “embark on a dangerous path” by going after opposition politicians and persons like the Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington.

“The regime is misusing the state apparatus to serve its narrow political ends, to harass political opponents in the case of Dr. Ashni Singh and to create scapegoats in the case of Brassington,” said the former Guyanese leader.

The privately-owned Kaieteur News newspaper quoted Public Security Minister and AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan as saying that “nothing came out of the case when I first carried it, but I have all intentions to check on the status of it and have it reopened and followed up on. The $4.5B spending remains, in my view, a case of illegal spending, and that is my legal opinion. The financial laws of this land were not meant to be broken.”

Ramotar, who was President from 2011 to 2015, noted that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), on the basis of a complaint by Ramjattan, had found no reasonable ground to institute charges against the then Finance Minister and the High Court had ruled that he had not violated the Constitution. “Moreover, I wish to point out that the monies were used to promote the economic development of Guyana and to enhance the welfare of our people,” said Ramotar.

Ramotar charged that the six-month old government has clearly embarked on a witch-hunt. “It is pure harassment of Dr. Ashni Singh and his family. It is a crude tactic to try to embarrass a gentleman who made an outstanding contribution to our country’s development,” said the former President.

Warning every public servant and every citizen that they would be “subjected to the same harassment and victimization,” he called on “democratic and peace-loving forces to make their voices heard and to stop this abuse of our institutions for narrow political objective.”

He suggested that the current state of affairs was synonymous with the People’s National Congress (PNC) regime under then Presidents Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte. The PNCR is now the largest constituent in the coalition administration.

In the case of Brassington, the former President said Brassington has been subjected to “vicious attacks” on Brassington who had answered all questions given to him by the auditors and fully cooperated with them and publicly provided explanations for every single query raised by the auditors. “Despite this, his office was raided in his absence and files taken away.”

Brassington has denied wrongdoing and has said that all allegations should be tested in Court.  He has said that he had complied with all laws and legal directives by the Cabinet on several major projects.

The Head of NICIL has been sent on administrative leave to pave the way for another audit by the Auditor General’s Office which had previously cleared that holding company of State assets and given it a clean bill of health.

Former Auditor General, Anand Goolsarran has said that his forensic audit has uncovered several alleged irregularities and breaches of the law.

  • Donald has to be concerned………he too is to be held liable when all culpability has been determined and established.

    • Emile_Mervin

      I read where Ramjattan said that if it were up to him, Ashni would be held liable, but he also qualified that with a caveat: if the powers that be make the decision. in other words, he is saying that there are more powerful people in the government who have the final say. and from my reading of the tea leaves, Ashni is a free man. In fact, I am beginning to believe that these audits are intended to merely embarrass Jagdeo et al.

      I can only hope Dr. Clive Thomas does not wind up a sorely disappointed man after all his ranting about SARU going after the thieves. We had a guy who stole GY$28M from GPL in a clear cut and dry case since May and to this day, the guy is free and has not fulfilled his promised restitution. Get my drift?

      • Dharamkumar02

        Emile I just hope to God these Scums get what they truly deserve, and that is jail. I am disappointed with the Coalition Govt for the way they are treating these PPP Criminals royally. This nonsense must stop because they campaigned to bring these Criminals to justice.

  • Dharamkumar02

    The entire PPP corrupt cabal is nervous. I wonder why, if they didn’t do anything wrong, then there is no need to worry. Cool down Rumoutar, cool down. Let the Govt do their investigations and if they are clean, well so be it. I know for sure jagdeo, rohee and you rumoutar are all culpable of a lot of wrong doings against the people of Guyana, so it is time to face the music. This is no witch hunting, this is cleaning up the darn mess you people created. In order for Guyanese to get justice and a corrupt free life, this is the only way to bring about that.

  • Keith Williams

    Mr Ramotar you are neither an impartial or objective examiner of this issue. In fact one can legitimately argue that have skin in the game, because when Brassington is charged, he might decide to make a deal.

    Further Sir, your appointed Chief Justice ruled that Ashni Singh violated the constitution. Since you have absolutely zero legal qualification, your opinion on that issue is probably even less valid than that of the man in the street. And again, because you have skin in the game.

    Your Government persecuted and kept people in jail for years on trumped up charges of treason. Courts threw out confessions under your Government on the grounds that torture was used to secure it. Gangs led by close associates of the PPP Government murdered more than 400 citizens on the pretext that they were criminal suspects, and you never once raised objection to the fact that even if they were criminal suspects, they were entitled to due process.

    So you Sir come to this discussion with very dirty hands, which is a legal construct you should look up. Your credibility as someone concerned about justice and due process has been utterly destroyed, rendered obsolete, by your silence when you were President to the permanent denial of due process and the presumption of innocence of literally hundreds of citizens of Guyana. To quote a famous phrase that is uniquely appropriate at this time, have you no sense of shame Sir? Goodness Gracious, have you no conscience Sir?

    • Kaieteur_Canada

      He too could be in for some jail time.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Donald has to defend Ashni because he gave the symbolic authorization to spend the money, which Chang, in one of his erratic rulings, correctly concluded the spending was unconstitutional. If it was unconstitutional, then it was unlawful, and if it was unlawful and Donald still defends it, well…

    • Kaieteur_Canada

      The man is still asleep and hypnotized by vindictive small-boy jagdeo… he’s sleepwalking and sleeptalking with just enough senility to utter his usual nonsense…
      He even said ” and the High Court had ruled that he had not violated the Constitution ” did he dreamt that ? Jagdeo slapped him to stupidity ?
      Lord have mercy, great balls afire.

    • Dharamkumar02

      Emile, a very Prosperous New Year to you any your Family. Rumoutar as we all know, he doesn’t know where North, East, South or West. This thing is just a puppet of the entire PPP cabal. Jagdeo only did him a favour to make him President for the lavish benefits, come on this thing Rumoutar is only in for the ride. He simply talks because he can talk, he doesn’t have a single clue about politics, but he was responsible to burn young cane in the mid seventies to spite the govt of the day. The entire PPP is running for position based on only one factor, and that is race. Believe it or not. These scums know if they get the votes of the Indians (not my vote), and they win then they will abuse power, people, the treasury and every thing else. So based on their record for the past 23 years, they all should be jailed and never be given a chance to ever run Guyana again.

  • SeeLochan Beharry

    Mr Ramotar was vaunted as an economist.
    Please explain to us: Why Guysuco was so mismanaged and now the people will suffer? Why no investment was made in higher education? Why UG, the legacy of Dr Jagan and his PPPm, was allowed to rot?
    Do you have any idea what destruction you have been a part of?
    Seelochan

    • Dharamkumar02

      Seelochan I agree, good one. This guy Rumoutar is nothing but a moving violation. These need to be thoroughly investigated because he will never be able to answer you on Guysuco. These Scums placed Guysuco on a downward spiral, and they don’t care. Rumoutar, an economist all right, he sat on the Guysuco Board, I would like to know, what did he do to remedy Guysuco?.

      • SeeLochan Beharry

        Hi Dharam,

        The PPP’s election machinery advertised him as an economist. Thatwas surprised to us. He sat on the Guysuco’s board while it was being destroyed. The livelihoods of many were put at risk.
        He was Mr Jagdeo’s choice and could be controlled.
        Bright and honest people in the PPP are hard to find since they are not tolerated.
        Seelochan Beharry

  • Gtloyal

    ” … the current state of affairs was synonymous with the People’s National Congress (PNC) regime …” Yes Duck man. And the people prefer that to what you gave them for 23 years. That’s why you have been relegated to writing fiction for the entertainment of a couple of bottom house ….dipsomaniacs.