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Nandlall questions Sittlington’s role in Guyana’s law enforcement

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Opposition Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall is questioning the role of Crime Expert Sam Sittlington in the law enforcement process of Guyana following statements which the MP believes have political underpinnings.

Nandlall said Sittlington seems to be functioning as part of the operations of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU). “Is he operating under the auspices of the British High Commission in Guyana? If so, then one will have to assume that there is some linkage between his actions and the British Government. This must be clarified by the British High Commission. Or, is he a consultant and if so, for whom is he consulting and who (is) paying him? If he is a consultant, then it would appear that he is acting way outside of his remit and is engaged in operational matters,” a statement issued by Nandlall noted.

The MP recalled that during his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Sittlington, offered his services to assist the then Government in dealing with the Anti-Money Laundering Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) issues at the time. However, the PPP Government did not retain his services because of the difficulties at the time, Nandlall pointed out, which involved getting the Opposition’s majority support in Parliament for the Bills to be passed. “I also recall that Opposition Members of Parliament were consulting him in assisting them in drafting counter amendments to the Government’s AML/CFT Amendment Bills,” said Nandlall

According to him, it now appears, that this Government has either retained Sittlington or has promised him a contract, hence his deep involvement in this matter. What has also become clear, the MP noted, is that the Government seems to be divided on the arrests which took place on Tuesday of Former President Jagdeo and other officials of the PPP Government by SOCUs officers.

Nandlall said “the President, Mr. David Granger, at the meeting with Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, at State House last Wednesday, at which I was present, was apologetic, claiming that he was unaware of the incidents and that it was Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, who drew it to his attention. He explained, that Former Presidents should be treated with dignity and that he recognizes that Governments change. The Leader of the Opposition expressed the view that some of his Ministers may be directing the SOCU officers. The President promised to personally inquire into the incident.”

Nandlall is contending that it is not without significance that certain Ministers of the Government, Mr. Sittlington, officials from SOCU and representatives of the British High Commission, were seen by persons with whom I spoke, celebrating last Tuesday’s arrests at the Oasis Cafe, the evening after the arrests were made (Wednesday, March 8, 2017).

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