ATTORNEY GENERAL BASIL WILLIAMS INSISTED THAT EVEN CURRENT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WON’T BE SAFE FROM PROSECUTION IF THEY ARE FOUND TO BE ENGAGED IN WRONGDOING.
13 November 2017
Former Guyana Government Officials To Face Charges for Alleged Wrongdoing
By Caribbean 360
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday November 13, 2017 – More than two dozen former Guyanese government officials will soon be facing the law courts for alleged wrongdoing in public office.
The Guyana State Assets Recovery Agency has served notice that it has 25 “solid cases” of officials under the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration using their high office to unlawfully acquire properties.
The agency’s deputy director Aubrey Heath-Retmeyer said with the Cabinet’s approval of required resources for its work, lawyers would begin proceedings against the accused.
“We are just waiting to move into a building. We have the lawyers standing by and things will move forward apace, but if you are going after large sums of money then the person whom you are going after also has the capacity to hire some of the best legal brains so if the case is not properly prepared and properly presented, you lose,” said Heath-Retemyer, as he addressed an anti-corruption seminar.
However, he assured that the agency was not on a witch-hunt but simply collecting what belonged to the people of Guyana.
“We are not asking anybody for any vendetta. We are simply saying that it is our money – your money and mine – and we want it back,” he said.
The David Granger administration has promised to be tough on corruption but it has been dogged by allegations that it is unfairly going after former PPP officials.
Attorney General Basil Williams insisted nothing could be further from the truth and he said if President Granger stepped out of line, he too would be brought to justice.
“As Minister, let me say upfront that there is no protection for anyone in our government and under our watch who is involved in any corrupt act. No one is above the law so you could rest assured that with Mr. President David Arthur Granger, you don’t have any excuse. If you are found purloining state assets, the law will take its course,” said Williams.
The AG also made it clear that anyone charged with corruption or related offences would not be allowed to continue in the post once investigations are ongoing.
“Forensic audits have resulted in charges being laid against purloiners of state assets, who, while the criminal charges are pending, just stay off the job lest they tamper with or destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses relevant to their charge or any future charges,” he said.