‘This was never about fighting corruption but about reputational damage’- Jagdeo on Singh, Brassington charges

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… says those vindictive persons have a lot to worry about

By Ramona Luthi

‘The obviously hyped up show of having People’s Progressive Party (PPP) members, Dr Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington dragged before the court and placed in handcuffs on Tuesday has nothing to do with fighting corruption but everything to do with causing reputational damage.’

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

This is according to Opposition Leader and former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday during a press conference at his office.

Former Finance Minister, Singh and former CEO of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Brassington on Tuesday appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court where they faced three charges of “misconduct in public office; contrary to common law” as it relates to the sale of three plots of state land during the PPP’s tenure.

Today, Jagdeo maintained that the men did nothing wrong, as they were acting on instructions from the then Cabinet.

“…what has happened? Ashni Singh and Brassington have been charged not for finding a single cent in their account that they didn’t earn, not for finding a $100 in their account that they didn’t earn, or much less that they said they stole, not for that but for claiming that they had misconduct in public office because they did not do a valuation of some properties that they sold even after public tender which established the market values,” he argued.

As such, Jagdeo warned that the persons who are responsible for this “vindictive” act of dragging the names of well respected Guyanese through the dirt “have a lot to worry about.”

“We have on almost every single Cabinet member here much significant acts where…decisions were made in their Ministries that cost the treasury lots of money without even being endorsed by the Cabinet and were in clear, blatant violation of our procurement laws…I want to warn those who have been so vindictive in pursuing some of these unsubstantiated charges just to destroy people’s reputation that they have a lot to worry about,” he said.

Following the court proceedings which resulted in Singh and Brassington being granted $6M in bail each, former Attorney general, Anil Nandlall said that when the legal proceedings against the duo 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.

Meanwhile, today Singh and Brassington were called in by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for questioning as it relates to 27 other allegations of “misconduct in public office” pertaining to the sale of state owned lands.

They were subsequently arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigations Department in the presence of their Attorneys and finger printed.

Furthermore, the men were then ordered to pay an additional $300,000 each to be released on station bail.

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