Disagreement surfaced Monday afternoon over whether the High Court decided that a fraud case against former Deputy General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board, Madanlall Ramraj has been stayed, with Guyana’s Solicitor General, Kim Kyte saying that the State complied with Justice Navindra Singh’s order to produce a report.
“No stay was granted. We complied with the Order. The Magistrate’s order is that a redacted report or an edited report, if you want to call it that, be served on the defendant. We have complied with that order because you see it’s a question of relevance,” Kyte told reporters.
The majority of the 160-page “Guyana Rice Development Board Forensic Audit Report for the period November 1, 2011 to May 31, 2015” forensic has been obscured because, according to the Solicitor General, only the parts that are relevant to Ramraj have been released. She explained that the other parts of the Forensic Audit Report either have nothing to do with Ramraj or are related to other persons who might be charged.
“You would be giving out other people’s information to him and it’s not relevant to him. No court would order something like that. It’s perhaps relevant to other people who are not even before the Court as yet.
The Solicitor General stressed that the former GRD Deputy General Manager “has to go to court until some other court says differently”.
Kyte recalled that Justice Singh’s order was that the Report be served on the Defence Lawyers or the case would be stayed permanently. A State Counsel was reportedly told by Justice Singh that if the Magistrate ordered the submission of a redacted report, that is what is served.
However, Ramraj’s Defence Lawyer, Anil Nandlall is giving a different version of what transpired Monday morning. He told Demerara Waves Online News that he went to Justice Singh’s Chambers “on my own volition for clarification and respect to show him the document”. Nandlall said the Judge did not make an order today (Monday), and having examined the document he said his order stands that all the matters re permanently stayed because that was not a report and “his order was not complied with.”
“The Judge, in the presence of a State Counsel from the Attorney General’s Chambers, examined the said document and expressed the opinion that the same does not comply with his Order and therefore the criminal charges
against Mr. Ramraj remain permanently stayed. The Judge further
indicated that if any further directions are required of him in relation to this matter, he is prepared to give them, provided that the requisite application is made,” Nandlall also said in a statement.
In refuting an earlier Demerara Waves Online News article, the Solicitor General also said Justice Singh told Nandlall that he enjoyed the right to approach the court for further directions. “After raising it the Honouarble Justice Navindra Singh correctly cautioned Mr. Nandlall that the said matter was concluded, had no return date, was not listed and if he, Nandlall had any issues with the purported ‘non-compliance’ he should properly
approach the court for an order for directions,” Kyte said.
Ramraj and now Canada-based GRDB accountant Peter Ramcharran were charged last year with 34 fraud-related charges. He was charged jointly with former GRDB General Manager, Jagnarine Singh. They were accused of ommiting to enter or make true entries of more than GY$4.2 million into the GRDB’s ledger between 2011 and 2012.
Further, they are accused of fraudulently taking GY$5 million or applied the money for their own use and benefit.
Singh and former GRDB Board member, Nigel Dharamlall are represented by Attorney-at-Law, Glen Hanoman.