President David Granger says although several audit reports have been submitted from various agencies and point to corrupt practices, it is difficult to prosecute anyone, since according to him, the evidence may be lacking or the persons culpable may have already left the jurisdiction or are citizens of other countries, making the process an arduous one.
The President who was speaking on the television programme, “The Public Interest” said the main function of some of these reports is to prevent recurrence or the continuation of any improper or corrupt practice. “Where the evidence is available, we will do prosecutions in the court, but we don’t want to use those audits as a sort of tool for witch-hunting,” Granger said.
He noted that while his administration would like those guilty to be prosecuted, the expectation is that these would be successful.
A case in point would be that of former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), Ash Deonarine, who following the release of an audit report back in February, which revealed that a large sum of money had been paid to him, without the knowledge and approval of the Board of Directors, left Guyana for Canada.
Guyanese law enforcement officials had said they were aggressively pursuing the extradition of Deonarine, so that criminal charges can be instituted against him for the alleged unauthorised withdrawal of $27M from the utility company’s accounts.
Former GPL Board member, Carvil Duncan was also charged for conspiring with Deonarine.
Under the previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration the then APNU and AFC opposition parties had leveled several allegations of corruption, however the PPP/C has always maintained that there is no evidence to suggest that persons were engaging in corruption.