Nigel Hughes, counsel for High Court Registrar, Sita Ramlal, yesterday wrote Police Commissioner Henry Greene saying that a forgery probe against his client seems to rely on the allegations of a tainted functionary who had routinely forged court orders.
Ramlal was recently questioned by the police in relation to the falsifying of documents in an adoption document to the US embassy but has denied any involvement arguing that there appears to be a campaign against her in relation to the boundaries of her office.
Hughes last evening dispatched a letter to Greene saying that Ramlal welcomed a thorough investigation into the matter but was “concerned about the manner and apparent bias in the conduct of the investigation”.
He said he has been told by Ramlal that the allegations against her are principally based on statements made by a retired staff member of the Supreme Court who was rehired on contract in 2008 against her wishes.
Hughes said Ramlal has advised that the staff member has been “directly implicated and involved in the creation and manufacture of forged orders of Court”.
Counsel said that these documents have attracted the attention of foreign consular services including the Canadian High Commission. The letter to Greene referred to a fax of April 2007 from the high commission enquiring about the authenticity of a divorce decree as per an order of the court. The order was signed by the retired official. Hughes also referred to a copy of a letter in reply on June 14, 2007 from David Kaladin, Administrative Officer of the Supreme Court which said that the order was a forgery.
Hughes also referred to a copy of another letter dated May 3, 2007 from the Immigration Section of the High Commissioner of Canada in Port-of-Spain enquiring about the authenticity of a divorce certificate with the relevant court order enclosed. In a response dated May 21, 2007 Kaladin again indicated that the order was a forgery.
“The aforementioned matters were reported to the Guyana Police Force by our client in 2007 and there has been no action by the police on the above matters since”, Hughes asserted.
He added that he was instructed that there are several similar matters involving the retired official which have been reported to the police with little or no action being taken.
Counsel in the letter to Greene also referred to a copy of a signed statement by the retired official dated April 26, 2002 addressed to Ramlal in relation to incorrect or false entering of orders of the court by him in which he “admits considerable errors”.
Hughes said that during May, 2008, while Ramlal was gravely ill in hospital in the US, the retired official was re-employed in the Supreme Court Registry. Upon her resumption of duty, Hughes said Ramlall queried the re-employment.
The re-employed official left his job at the registry shortly after.
Counsel also adverted to the current litigation that exists between Ramlal and the Judicial Service Commission relative to the operational boundaries of her position as Registrar. He noted that she had written a letter on April 7, 2008 to the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon “complaining about the difficulties which she was encountering in relation to the discharge of her professional responsibilities”.
He said by letter dated April 16, 2008 Ramlal was informed of several management changes which effectively undermined her ability to execute her responsibilities.
Hughes added: “We have had sight of the alleged forged orders, which were shown to our client on Thursday the 19th instant.
“We would like to point out that on none of the documents does our client’s signature appear or is there any reference to any involvement on our client’s behalf.
“It appears that (the) thrust of the investigation (seems) to rely on the allegations of a tainted functionary who has repeatedly been involved in the creation and manufacture of forged orders of court”.
Hughes said that Ramlal has informed him that there are at least 10 reported instances of forged orders issued by the retired official engaging the attention of the police and he feared that his client may be the innocent victim of a hurried and incomplete probe.
He added that his client was in the process of gathering additional documentation “which would lead to her exoneration from the aforementioned allegations”.
Reports are that former chief of staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Norman McLean, had presented the adoption papers at the centre of the investigation to the embassy in a visa application for the child.
The US embassy conducted an investigation and called in the police shortly after the documents were presented and McLean was detained. He was subsequently released on station bail.
Stabroek News had contacted McLean on the matter but he declined to comment.