One day after being released on $6 million bail each, former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and former CEO of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassignton were called in for questioning by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
The men accompanied by their lawyers turned up this morning at SOCU’s headquarters in Georgetown and have been there since 9.am. Singh was accompanied by attorneys, Anil Nandlall and Sase Gunraj, while Brassignton was accompanied by attorney, Mark Waldron.
It has been reported that the men are being questioned in relation to the impending court matter where they are facing three charges of misconduct in public office as it relates to the sale of three plots of state land during the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) tenure in office.
The two former senior government officials are also being questioned about other issues contained in 30 files being investigated by SOCU in relation to several transactions conducted by the NICIL.
Following the court proceedings held yesterday, former Attorney general, Nandlall said that when the legal proceedings against Singh and Brassington are dismissed, the state and several individuals will be sued personally for reputational damages.
“There is going to be a barrage of civil proceeding that is going to be filed for reputational damage caused by these charges. And persons are going to be charged personally, not the state alone, people will be sued personally for what is taking place in this country,” Nandlall told media operatives.
Moreover, he maintained that to have Singh and Brassington charged for “misconduct in public office” where they weren’t accused of stealing funds, but instead being punished for selling lands without a valuation being done, is “political persecution taken to another level.”
“What did Ashni Singh and Brassington do? They’re not accused of stealing a cent. They are not accused of profiteering in any form or fashion. All they’re being accused of is selling a property without valuation. People do that every day.They sold properties at a price determined by market value. What is criminal about that?”
Meanwhile, commenting on the fact that the accused were handcuffed and brought through the prisoner’s chute of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, Nandlall said this was an attempt to “embarrass, humiliate and dehumanise them.”