SOCU to submit documents in Singh, Brassington case
The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) was this morning ordered to submit additional documents to the court tomorrow, paving the way for the continuation of its case filed against Former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh and Former Chief Executive Officer of the Government’s privatisation unit, Winston Brassington.
The case was called today before Chief Magistrate, Ann Mclennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.
SOCU was given until tomorrow to provide original summons served to the defendants along with the “return of service” proving that they made an attempt to serve the summons and complaint to the accused, who are said to be residing overseas.
SOCU’s prosecutor, Trenton Lake told the court that it was only recently that the address of one of the defendants was found in an affidavit submitted by the defendants.
Asked whether any effort was made to send the summons to the last known address, the prosecutor responded in the positive.
However, the document was not on-hand to present to the court. SOCU’s Head Sydney James later told the media that they were not aware that the document had to be presented to the court.
The prosecutor noted that despite the challenges experienced, the court has the power to enforce other measures demanding that Singh and Brassington appear in court.
In this regard, the Chief Magistrate said the next step can only be taken after the “return of service” is provided and adjourned the case to May 08, 2018.
Though Singh and Brassington were given three weeks to make an appearance, they were both a ‘no show’ this morning.
The Chief Magistrate expressed satisfaction with the evidence provided that the lawyers representing Singh and Brassington have been in constant contact with them,
Appearing on behalf of the former government officials were Attorneys Ronald Burch-Smith, Stanley Moore, Sase Gunraj and Mark Waldron.
The two were charged by SOCU on April 12, 2018 for gross misconduct in public office.
They allegedly sold several plots of land on the East Coast of Demerara to National Hardware Guyana Ltd for over $598M; Scady Business Corporation at a cost of $150M and to Multicinemas Guyana at $185M.
Both men reside overseas and according to their lawyers, their jobs affected their return to answer to the charges.