Charges against Omar Sharif halted pending High Court advice

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 January 2017, 14:45 by Derwayne Wills

It was a bizarre turn of events today in the Georgetown Magistrate Court as city magistrate Fabayo Azore was stopped from reading charges against former Ministry of the Presidency permanent secretary, Omar Shariff.

The entire session lasted less than ten minutes.

An agreement of sorts was made between the prosecution and defense regarding an order made by the Chief Justice in High Court. It is unclear as to what transpired.

The media caught up with Sharif’s defense attorneys outside the court, but they failed to disclose anything further.

Magistrate Azore was requested the reading of the charges be stood down pending further advice from the High Court.

The matter was adjourned to Monday, January 23.

Sharif was a staunch supporter of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) until it lost power in May 2015.

Immediately after its defeat, he remained as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, formerly Office of the Presidency, until his arrest for alleged money laundering and tax evasion.

In a letter dated June 30, 2016 to Mr. Sharif, Minister of State Joseph Harmon wrote, “You will recall having informed me that you are now the subject of an investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force.”

The Minister had informed Sharif in that letter that he should proceed on his Annual Leave from July 1, 2016 to enable him to fully cooperate with the investigation.