One month after Former Minister of Housing, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, was slapped with 19 charges in connection with the Pradoville Two case in which he allegedly sold 19 State Lands to 19 high ranking officials, he was this morning told that he will not be allowed to plead to the charges.
When the matter was called in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) Prosecutor, Patrice Henry told the court that the Prosecution team will not be applying the Administrative Justice Act (AJA).
With the AJA not being applied, Ali will not be allowed to plead to the charges, thereby making his charges indictable.
Henry went on to tell the court that he was recently made aware that two High Courts applications have been filed in relation to the charges. One of them is to be heard on Friday. It has to do with an application for a stay of proceedings for the matters before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
The applications were filed on January 2, 2019 by Senior Counsel Neil Boston, and Attorneys-at-Law Anil Nandlall and Davindra Kissoon at the High Court.
The matter is fixed to be heard before Justice Franklin Holder on January on Friday, January 11, 2019.
Ali is accused of selling the lands to former President Bharrat Jagdeo, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon; former ministers Priya Manickchand, Dr. Jennifer Westford, Robert Persaud and Clement Rohee, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack and former army Head Gary Best.
He also sold the lands to former General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board, Lisaveta Ramotar, the daughter of former President Donald Ramotar.
It is also alleged that he sold lands to former President of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo, who is the son of former Labour Minister Dr. Nanda Gopaul; Dr. Ghansham Singh, former Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Chief Executive Officer; Rajendra Singh, former President of the the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Guyana; Compton Bourne; Andrew Bishop, former Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission; Safraaz Khan; and George Halla.
It is alleged that Ali, between 2011 and 2015, conspired with persons unknown to defraud the Government of Guyana by acting recklessly when he sold 19 plots of land at Plantation Sparendaam and Goedverwagting.
He is being represented by attorneys-at-law Devindra Kissoon, Anil Nandlall, Priya Manickchand and others.
Ali who was released on his own recognizance (self bail) will make his next court appearance on February 6, 2019.
The charges against Ali come months after SOCU completed its investigation into the allocation of lands at ‘Pradoville Two’ to Cabinet members of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic Administration and their close associates.
It was reported that Ali personally handled the transactions of the State Lands to his friends of the PPP/C’s former Cabinet members.
A forensic audit was conducted which revealed that the recipients grossly underpaid for the lots by a total of nearly $250 million. It was stated that of the 28 lots, totalling 12.1187 acres, only 3.9693 acres remain unallocated.