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Court orders State to hand over forensic audit reports

first_imgGRDB fraud charges…or charges will be quashedHigh Court Judge, Justice Navindra Singh on Tuesday ordered the State to hand over a copy of the Forensic Audit report within five days, otherwise a permanent stay of prosecution will be granted against former Deputy General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Madanlall Ramraj.Back in May 2017, Ramraj along with former GRDB General Manager, Jagnarine Singh, were jointly charged with 17 counts of omitting to enter true entries of over $4.2 million into the company’s ledger, knowing that it was contrary to standard operating procedures between 2011 and 2012, at the company’s Lot 16-17 Cowan Street, Kingston head office.However last month, Ramraj moved to the High Court to get “an order for a permanent stay of proceedings, or an order quashing, vacating or setting aside the charges of Fraudulent Omission [case] pending before Georgetown Magistrates’ Court 2 in the Georgetown Magisterial District.”The application details that the impetus for the stay stems from the “failure of the prosecution to disclose a copy of the Forensic Audit Report on the Guyana Rice Development Board prepared by Nigel Hinds, Forensic Auditor, which formed the basis for certain investigations launched by the Special Organised Crime Unite (SOCU), as a result of which the Applicant was charged for the offence of Fraudulent Omission… to the Applicant or to the legal representative of the Applicant, constitutes a violation of Article 144 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, more particularly, the right of the Applicant to be afforded facilities for the preparation of his defence and other protections of the law secured under and guaranteed by the said Article 144.”During Tuesday’s hearing of the fixed date application, Justice Singh after reading all the Affidavits and hearing arguments from the lawyers on both sides, found that the failure by the Prosecution to produce the Forensic Audit report violates the applicant’s rights under Article 144 of the Constitution, that is to say, that an accused person must be afforded adequate facilities for the preparation of his defence.To this end, the High Court Judge ordered that unless the Forensic Audit Report done by Nigel Hinds is produced by the prosecution to either Ramraj or his legal representatives within five days, a permanent stay will be granted  quashing, vacating and setting aside the charges of Fraudulent Omission, contrary to Section 104 of the Criminal Law Offences Act, Chapter 8, for which the Applicant is charged on case jackets numbered 6976, 6977, 6978, 6979, 6980 and 6981 of 2017, pending before Georgetown Magistrates’ Court 2 in the Georgetown Magisterial District.Ramraj was represented by Attorneys Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan and Rajendra Jaigobin while the Attorney General was represented by State Counsel Oneka Archer-Caulder.The matter has been adjourned to June 8.last_img read more