With the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) moving full steam ahead with its investigations into the award of two oil blocks offshore Guyana to three inexperienced companies by the PPP regime, former Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud appears to be in receipt of legal advice on how he should treat with the matter publicly.
Guyana Standard observed a comment that Persaud made on Facebook to that effect, but the former Minister later told this publication that he has not been in receipt of any legal opinion on matters relating to the investigation.
Today, Oil and Gas Consultant and former Presidential Advisor to the President, Dr Jan Mangal, posted a Kaieteur News story with the headline, “Robert Persaud fails to explain why industry unknowns were granted oil blocks.”
An online commentator tagged Persaud to the post and asked that he provide an explanation. The former Minister’s reply was,
“I am quite sure the companies and regulatory entities can speak for themselves. At this time based on legal advice, I rather not comment on those and other matters. But the facts will prevail over fiction.”
Persaud, when contacted, confirmed that he made the aforementioned comment but stressed that he has not hired a lawyer for the probe nor did he seek legal advice. This is a clear contradiction to his post.
On Sunday, the former minister released a statement on the SARA probe, calling it an election propaganda campaign. Persaud said that he would welcome any investigation but still offered no explanation regarding his role in the matter.
Along with the probe into the suspicious award of the Canje and Kaieteur blocks, Persaud is also at the heart of another investigation by SARA — The Pradoville Two matter. This scheme saw prime lands being sold for approximately $1.5M. From two settlements, SARA has already recovered over $40M.