Charges dismissed against GBTI Chairman, Board of Directors

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Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Tuesday dismissed charges against eight officials of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), who were charged in October 2017 by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for failing to comply with a production order issued by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire.

The Chief Magistrate, in dismissing the case, upheld a no-case submission made by Attorney Nigel Hughes.

The case was dismissed against the Chairman, Robin Stoby; Directors, Edward A. Beharry, Suresh Beharry, Kathryn Eytle-McLean, Richard Isava, Carlton James, Basil Mahadeo and Chief Executive Officer (ag) Shaleeza Shaw.

“Her Worship ruled that the prosecution failed on several counts, but the critical points were that at the time of the complaint there could not have been failure to comply with the production order because the date for compliance had already [been] extended by the High Court, and that the prosecution failed to tender all of the documents provided to SOCU by GBTI,” the GBTI statement noted.

“The Court ruled that the evidence if taken at its highest a jury properly directed would not convict.

“Despite the on-going public war of words against GBTI which seemed designed to sully the esteemed reputation of the distinguished members of the Board and the financial institution they represent, the Bank is grateful that this malicious attack on its integrity and that of staff has been brought to a predictable end in the Court.”

The bank further noted that it withstood the challenges that followed the charges.

“While this unwarranted attack and abuse of power was not without severe and widespread consequences to the sterling institutional image and that of the personal reputation of distinguished Directors and staff, GBTI withstood the onslaught with customers rallying around in support.”

“GBTI wishes to express its gratitude to so many customers and friends who expressed their support in so many ways through this traumatic, shameful charade.

“To the attorneys who distinguished themselves by the highest standards of legal representation possible we are duty-bound to publicly congratulate each of you.”

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