Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 June 2023, 6:26 by Denis Chabrol
Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall was released from five hours of police custody and placed on GY$1 million bail as police continued to probe a rape allegation against him, Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes said.
The prominent Guyanese civil and criminal lawyer told Demerara Waves Online News that his client was not questioned during the eight-hour long detention, but the allegation was put to him. “An allegation was put to him consequently he was a suspect so the opportunity for cooperation did not arise,” the lawyer told said.
Mr Hughes added that his client was expected to return to police at 8 AM Tuesday at which time the defence team would provide evidence that Mr Dharamlall did not commit the act he has been accused of. “Through his counsel we informed the police that we are in possession f evidence which contradicts the allegation and will be providing that to them today,” Mr Hughes said.
Through Mr Hughes, Mr Dharamlall has publicly denied all allegations made against him.
A 16-year old girl, who has accused Mr Dharamlall of raping her last December at his residence, remains in protective care of the State after she was interviewed on video by a non-governmental organisation. Sources said the process could include a medical examination of the teenager.
After the swirling accusations contained in an open letter to President Irfaan Ali and Minister of Education Priya Manickchand emerged on Social Media, the girl described them as “untruths” and also gave p0lice a statement to that effect.
However, sources said that during the interview with representatives of the non-governmental organisation, she reportedly reverted to the purported original account that included graphic details of her alleged physical encounter with the Local Government Minister.
At Mr Dharamlall’s request, President Irfaan Ali has allowed him to proceed on indefinite leave to allow for an investigation to be conducted.
The Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr Vindhya Persaud had said the Child Care and Protection Agency would conduct a full investigation into the incident. Though the girl had denied initially making such accusations, the agency triggered a criminal investigation by making a report to the police.