Last Updated on Thursday, 20 May 2021, 11:37 by Denis Chabrol
Eight retired senior police officers and a serving Assistant Police Commissioner have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the State of GYD$10 million and they were each granted GYD$100,000 bail.
Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Retired Assistant Commissioner Paul Slowe was not present in court as he is overseas, but he is named in the joint charge with the eight others.
Retired Senior Superintendent Michael Sutton was also charged separately with misconduct in public office for which he was granted GYD$100,000 bail.
Speaking with reporters outside the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, Defence Lawyer Nigel Hughes said, “these charges, I don’t believe, are based in fact and, certainly from my experience, don’t see to have much basis for them to be levellef against these persons.”
Police say Slowe, Retired Assistant Commissioner Clinton Conway, who is also a Police Service Commissioner, Retired Assistant Commissioner Ivelaw Whittaker, serving Assistant Commissioner Royston Andries-Junor, retired officer George Fraser, Mark Gilbert, Marcelene Washington, Mr. Sutton anf Marlon Kellman between March 1, 2019 and July 7, 2020 “conspired together and with other persons unknown to defraud” the Guyana Police Force of GYD$10,056,000 by paying Messrs. Slowe, Conway, Whittaker, Fraser and Gilbert “without complying with the proper procedures.”
Police said the money was paid to “purportedly do a review” of the Police Force’s Standing Orders which had already commenced in July 2018 and concluded in March 2019 by the Strategic Planning Unit of that law enforcement agency.
Police charged Mr. Sutton in his capacity as then Finance Officer, that between July 1, 2019 and July 31, 2019, he “wilfully misconducted himself” while performing those duties.
Police accused him of falsely signing several payment vouchers as the accounting officer without authorization.
The police alleged that by Mr. Sutton doing so, he enabled Messrs Slowe, Conway, Whittaker, Fraser and Gilbert to be paid a total of GYD$1,776,000 without the approval of the Accounting Officer, Daniella Mc Almont and “without reasonable excuse or justification.”
They all return to court on June 3, 3021.
The Defence Lawyer said that already, he raised concerns about exactly what procedures had been violated.
“All of the persons who have been charged are off impeccable character,” Mr. Hughes said.