PPP files criminal charges against Lawrence, Norton

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Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) Juan Edghill and Vickram Bharat moments ago filed private criminal charges against Minister of Health, Volda Lawrence and Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton.

Lawrence is being charged in relation to the controversial sole-sourcing of $605M worth of drugs from Ansa McAl in March 2017, while Dr Norton is being charged in connection with the Sussex Street Drug Bond scandal.

The basis of the charges is the same used by the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) against former Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of the National Industrial, Commercial and Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington.

Attorney Anil Nandlall, Opposition MPs Vickram Bharat and Juan Edghill

The charge reads “misconduct in public office, contrary to common law”.

Attorney-at-law Anil Nandlall, who is representing the two parliamentarians, told News Room, that the decision to move to the courts is not a necessarily a means of getting back at SOCU for filing charges against Dr Singh and Brassington.

Nandlall says a magistrate has to now determine whether the charges are “proper” enough to be proceeded with in the courts. If the magistrate finds the charges “proper”, the ministers (defendants) will be summoned to court.

Nandlall says it would be very disturbing if the charges are deemed “improper” given that it is the same basis of the charges against the two former government officials.

This is a developing story. More details will be provided as it becomes available.

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