Three years after being charged for fraudulently converting over $2M in law reports, Attorney General Anil Nandlall last Friday had the matter against him withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
When the matter was called, Magistrate Fabayo Azore indicated to the court that, based on a letter sent from the DPP, she was advised to discontinue the charge against Nandlall. Nandlall was not present at the court hearing.
At the close of the case for the Prosecution, Magistrate Azore found sufficient evidence against Nandlall and had called on him to lead a defence.
According to the charge, between May 18, 2015, and May 29, 2015, while being a bailee, as Attorney General, he fraudulently converted 14 Commonwealth Law Reports valued at $2,313,853, property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, to his own use and benefit.
Nandlall was previously reported as saying that when he took up the post of Attorney General, he did so at a loss, and it was for that reason he agitated for the State to pay for the Law Reports.
He had said that the arrangement received the blessings of the then Head of State, Donald Ramotar.
However, investigators are contending that because the books were bought with State funds, they cannot be the property of Nandlall, and, in fact, the State should not have entered into such an arrangement in the first place.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs is further contending that there is no evidence of an agreement between Nandlall and Ramotar. Even assuming that there was such an agreement, the use of public funds in this manner is a flagrant violation of the Financial Management and Accountability Act.
Nandlall was charged after SOCU, an arm of the Guyana Police Force, completed investigations.