DPP appeals $600M larceny charge dismissed against Westford, Assistant

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Days after a former Public Minister and her former Administrative Assistant, were freed on a $600 million larceny charge, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack has filed her notice of appeal.

This announcement comes on the heels of the views expressed by the Opposition that the  prosecutorial agencies are under pressure to secure convictions against the former Administration.

The office of the DPP announced on Monday that a Notice of Appeal was filed at the Guyana Court of Appeal last week Thursday challenging Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman’s August 24 determination that there was insufficient evidence to prove that former PPP Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford and her Administrative Assistant Margaret Cummings stole $639 million from the Guyana Government.

The two were employed with the then Public Service Ministry at the time and were out on $4.8 million bail after denying 24 charges between October 19, 2011 and April 28, 2015.

The prosecution also contended that the monies were requested to conduct outreaches in the 10 administrative regions of Guyana.

But Magistrate Latchman after some two years of hearing evidence from 48 witnesses, upheld attorney Dexter Todd’s no-case submission, reasoning that charges against the duo were bad in law.

The city Magistrate added that there was no evidence to show that the money was taken and not used for its intended purposes.

However, the DPP’s decision to appeal the case comes at a time when the Opposition is claiming that State prosecutorial agencies are being pressured to convict officials of the former Administration.

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