Irfaan Ali case postponed over missing statements, SOCU asks for more time

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Former Minister of Housing Irfaan Ali made his second appearance in court on Monday on charges brought against him by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), but the case was put off for another month.

Ali, who is facing 19 charges of attempting to defraud the government when he sold land below market price appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.

The court heard from SOCU Prosecutor Attorney-at-Law Patrice Henry that statements were missing and that SOCU needed more time to build its case. The matter was adjourned until February 6.

Senior PPP member Priya Manickchand said, “This is unacceptable, and it is political harassment aimed at silencing the leaders of the PPP and that is not going to happen.”

“You would recall that Ali was charged right after the No-Confidence motion.”

Manickchand said that the charges are political in nature and the justice system should never be used to harass, intimidate and silence political opponents.

She said, “The wider population is watching on and we all have a duty to ensure they have confidence and faith in the justice system and that what the government is doing with these charges is making a mockery of the justice system and that could never be good for a country.”

Ali is facing 19 counts of fraud allegations in relation to the sale of lands to top officials.

Former top government officials including former President Bharrat Jagdeo were questioned by SOCU last year in relation to the acquisition of the prime seaside house lots, which blew up in a scandal commonly known as Pradoville 2.

 

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