Charrandass investigation stalled, not enough evidence for extradition – Ramjattan

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By Bibi Khatoon

An investigation launched into allegations of bribery and movement of gold by former Parliamentarian Charrandass Persaud has been stalled as detectives are unable to get a statement from Persaud and there is not enough evidence to file for extradition.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan told the media on Wednesday that “whatever was the status for the past couple of months, it is just stuck there.”

Persaud, a former member of the Alliance For Change (AFC) is being investigated for reportedly taking a bribe to cast a vote of No-Confidence against his Government on December 21, 2018.

“Charrandass left and the investigators were supposed to I think ask him some questions and they’re not getting him,” Ramjattan said.

The former Member of Parliament is also a Canadian citizen and fled to Canada on December 22, 2018, hours after casting the vote which toppled the APNU+AFC coalition Government.

Further questioned on whether the Police will consider using a diplomatic channel to get in contact with the former MP, Ramjattan said he doubts that will be the case.

He explained that the Police do not have sufficient evidence to extradite Persaud to Guyana.

“For Canada, you have to have evidence of a crime being committed before you can bring back somebody. Solid evidence of a crime especially against a citizen of Canada. I don’t know if we have managed to accumulate that,” the Security Minister said.

According to Ramjattan, the Police were “acting on information and suspicions whether someone else paid him to do what he did. All of that will be technical legal issues.”

Ramjattan said the investigation is still of national importance.

He noted that sometimes investigations are stalled for years until new evidence emerges.

The investigation was launched in January after a report was made of a plan to purchase gold, according to Commissioner of Police Leslie James.

A snippet of a conversation between a number purportedly belonging to Persaud and a gold dealer later surfaced, in which the Former MP is said to be negotiating the purchase of over US$1M in gold and some miners were contacted.

The Caribbean Court of Justice is expected to give the final ruling on whether the former MP’s vote was validly passed next week.

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