Omar Shariff, former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Presidency, along with his reputed wife Savitri Hardeo are set to go to trial on March 6, 2017 for non-compliance of a production order issued by the High Court.
The court had issued an order in 2016, which required Shariff to provide certain documents to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) which he had violated, and the couple were separately charged with the said offence earlier this year.
The duo were released on self-bail after pleading not guilty to the charge, along with the condition that they report every other Monday to SOCU.
Special Prosecutor, Patrice Henry, today filed statements and will present seven witnesses at the next hearing. An application for a joint charge was made by Shariff’s attorney, who requested that the couple be tried jointly as opposed to separately; this application will be ruled on come March 6, 2017.
The accused, between 2005 and 2015, had allegedly amassed some $20 billion in business funds and were arrested in July 2016 in connection with allegations relating to one of the largest money laundering and tax evasion schemes in the history of Guyana.
Shariff was sent on annual leave on July 1, 2016 by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, following investigations launched by SOCU and his services were terminated with effect from December 31, 2016.
The trial date was set by Magistrate Fabayo Azore and the couple will appear before the courts on March 6, 2017.