Former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Omar Shariff, 46, and his reputed wife, Savitri Hardio, 32, were before Magistrate Fabayo Azore charged with refusing to provide named documents to the Police.
According to the charge, which the couple separately denied, on or before October 14 at Georgetown, both failed to comply with an order made by acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings to provide named documents. The documents in question were all requested by Police as part of a probation order.
The prosecution did not object to bail, but requested that both defendants lodge their passports at the court.
Magistrate Azore placed both parties on self-bail and they were ordered to report every other Monday to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
The matter will continue on February 1, 2017.
Shariff is currently the subject of a probe into alleged financial crimes by SOCU. However, he has denied such allegations, although conceding he has unsettled tax matters with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), in relation to the sale of phone credit.
Shariff was a candidate for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) at the last elections, and remained as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, even after the new government took office.
However, he was sent on leave in June 2016 by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon after SOCU launched a massive probe into several bank accounts which carried his name and the names of persons who worked close to him.
In a letter to Shariff, Minister Harmon stated that he was to proceed on leave in order for him to cooperate fully with SOCU in the matter.
“This is [a] money-laundering and tax-evasion matter, since … [it concerns] large sums of money that he has in his personal accounts,” Harmon had said.
However, Shariff always maintained his innocence in the matter and stated that he did no wrong.
He chose to remain silent amid all accusations against him, until later, when he issued a statement, which read, “After consultation with my attorney, I have been advised that it is now appropriate and has become necessary for me to address the false and unsubstantiated allegations and imputations being published by the electronic, broadcast and print media.”
His services as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP) was recently terminated. Taking his place as Permanent Secretary is Abena Moore.