Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall will have to lead a defence in the charge against him of converting $2.3M in law reports that were the property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
Nandlall was visibly shocked as he stood near the prisoner’s dock when Magistrate Fabayo Azore told him this morning that sufficient evidence exists for him to answer the charge.
It is alleged that between May 8 and May 29, 2015, at Georgetown, Nandlall fraudulently took or converted 14 laws reports to his own use and benefit, while being a bailee, Attorney General, and Minister of Legal Affairs. The reports were valued at $2,313,853 and were the property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the charge states.
The charge against Nandlall was instituted by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
Magistrate Azore in her ruling this morning told the court that SOCU Prosecutor, Patrice Henry, was able to prove each aspect of the case, thereby necessitating a defence by Nandlall in the matter.
Nandlall’s lawyer Glen Hanoman, in addressing the court, stated that his client would need time to lead his defence in the matter since he is slated to be out of the jurisdiction.
However, a visibly upset Nandlall turned to his attorney and said, “Cancel that; let’s deal with my defence.”
Hanoman went on to tell the court that his client will give a sworn testimony when he is called upon. He added that they will also attempt to have former President, Donald Ramotar, testify on Nandlall’s behalf.
The Magistrate after listening to Hanoman adjourned the matter until December 6, 2018 for continuation.
Nandlall on his first court appearance had told reporters that the law reports were purchased for him based on an oral arrangement with former President, Donald Ramotar, as a condition for his taking up the post.
In addressing the media, Nandlall had said that the charge is politically motivated and that it was his constant criticisms of the sitting Attorney General, Basil Williams, that has landed him in hot water.
He further said that when he took the job as Attorney General at the time, he did so at a loss of income. It was for that reason he agitated for the State to pay for the law reports that cost over $2.3M. The arrangement, he stressed, had the blessings of the then Head of State, Donald Ramotar.
However, SOCU investigators contend that the books could not be the personal property of Nandlall since they were purchased with state funds. In fact, SOCU said, the State should not have entered into such an arrangement in the first place.