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Special Prosecutors hired last year cost over GY$2 million, other costs

Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall and current Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams.

The Guyana government has been paying at least GY$2 million to each of five special prosecutors since last year June, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams told the House on Monday.

In response to written questions by Shadow Legal Affairs Minister, Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall, Williams said in a written response that the agreement signed by the special prosecutors dates back to June 7, 2017.

The Attorney General explained that the GY$2 million retainer fee will be applied against the Attorney’s fees and cost incurred by the client or expenses paid by the attorney on behalf of the client. Also, each lawyer is being paid GY$20,000 per hour for prosecuting matters in court.

No travel and hotel costs have been incurred so far on the 12 cases.

It is believed that the cases include those linked to the Guyana Rice Development Board’s forensic audit, and the alleged illegal purchase of law-books by Nandlall while he had been Attorney General.

In his written question, Nandlall noted that GY$109 million had been allocated in the 2017 National Budget, but undisclosed funds had been allocated for hiring special prosecutors including foreign lawyers.