Former PPP ministers, others refuse to be questioned at SOCU headquarters about Pradoville 2

Last Updated on Monday, 6 March 2017, 23:03 by Denis Chabrol

The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) wants to question several former government ministers and other top officials of the current administration about their acquisition and development of seaside house lots at  Ogle-Sparendaam popularly known as Pradoville 2.

Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall has since written to SOCU, stating that his clients would not be meeting with investigators at the law enforcement agency’s office on Camp Street, Georgetown. SOCU has written to the six former government ministers and two other persons, asking them to report to SOCU for questioning.

However, Demerara Waves Online News was told Monday night that SOCU has sought advice from the Guyana Police Force’s Legal Adviser, Retired Justice Claudette Singh about Nandlall’s letter.

Instead, he told Head of SOCU, Assistant Commissioner Sydney James that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo; former Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, former Minister of Education Priya Manickchand , former Minister of the Public Service Dr. Jennifer Westford and former Minister of Housing and Water, and Tourism Irfaan Ali would be available to meet investigators at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition on Church Street.

Nandlall also told the SOCU Chief that Andrew Bishop and General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board, Lisaveta Ramotar would be available to meet with the investigators at his office on South Road, Georgetown.

Their Attorney-at-Law told James that he objected to SOCU investigators questioning his clients about PradoVille 2 because a case was currently before the Constitutional/ Administrative Division of the High Court, and other reasons. “As a result of this and a multitude of other factors, which advisedly, I will not disclose at this stage, I have deep reservations regarding the propriety, legality and constitutionality of the process upon which you and your officers have embarked and I have so advised my clients.

Notwithstanding, without prejudice to the foregoing and to demonstrate a willingness to cooperate, though not obligated to, I have advised my clients to, at this stage, make themselves available for the requested interview,” Nandlall told James.

Assessments conducted for SOCU have shown that the values of the land had been allegedly sold to those then government ministers and senior government officials at under-valued prices.

Others include of Guyana Defence Force Retired Rear Admiral, Gary Best; Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Hack, and former President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Professor Compton Bourne.