Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is calling for a review of the State’s use of special prosecutors; noting that failure to discontinue this arrangement is likely to cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Captured in his communiqué titled, “The Unconstitutionalities and Squander Mania Continue,” Nandlall cited the arrangements as “constitutional incest.”
“The retention of Special Prosecutors in Guyana must be reviewed. It is undisputed that these Special Prosecutors are handpicked by and paid from the budget of the Attorney General’s office… That two of these Special Prosecutors are operating out of the former law office of the Attorney General (Basil Williams) while he was in practice and the other three have well-known connections to the PNC (People National Congress) compounds the constitutional incest,” The politician penned.
Despite the millions of dollars that are reportedly being spent by the state to pay special prosecutors, Nandlall predicts that there will be no successful conviction.
He added that these prosecutors are retained at rate of $2M per head – per case – along with a charge-out rate of $20,000 per hour spent on each case (whether in or out of court). For most of the cases filed, so far, five prosecutors are retained per case.
“This aggregates to $10M plus $100,000 for every hour spent on the case. Most of these cases require a minimum of over a dozen witnesses to be called. Each of these cases will attract a minimum of approximately 100 billable hours – $100,000 x 100 = $10,000,000 + $10,000,000 = $20,000,000. So, each case will attract a minimum cost of $20M.”
You will note that there is no mechanism in place to prevent fabricated billing hours. Therefore, this arrangement is susceptible to serious abuse. According to the AG, from June 7, 2017, 12 of these cases have been filed. The sum of money thus far expended is $240M ($20Mx12). I have used minimum figures in these computations. I predict that none of these cases would yield a conviction.”
The five special prosecutors that have reportedly been retained by the State are Trenton Lake, Michael Somersall, Hughley Griffith, Lawrence Harris and Patrice Henry.