Five weeks after the case file into Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh’s car accident on Republic night was returned to the police, officers in charge of the file have stated that it is yet to be reviewed.
Stabroek News was made to understand by a senior police official that the file will be reviewed, however due to reshuffling it has not yet been seen by the relevant officers.
Critics have been awaiting the outcome of the police investigation since the accident especially considering the police sent the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ Office citing a “longstanding tradition” in relation to cases involving senior government officials.
Head of the Guyana Bar Association Ronald Burch-Smith was critical of the police, stating that the police were severely deficient in their probe of the incident. Burch-Smith made the point that in similar instances it was not unusual to have the case brought before the magistrate’s court a few days after the incident. He had said that “the police are very good at deciding when they investigate,” and when they purposely move slowly.
On Republic night, Singh was involved in an accident which left the driver of the other car, Jageshwar Hira and his passenger, Parbattie Shivcharan, slightly injured.
“I was coming down this street [west on Garnett Street, Campbellville] and this vehicle was coming out of this road [Delph Avenue] and just jump the major road, slam into me sending we into that gutter… The man come out then we see is the finance minister but he ain’t even offer help. He just jump into another vehicle and drive off leaving we hay …,” Hira had told Stabroek News at the scene.
Attorney General Anil Nandlall in a statement on February 27, said, “At or about 21:00 hrs on 23 February, 2014 at the junction of Garnett and Delph Streets, Campbellville, Greater Georgetown, the Honourable Minister of Finance was involved in a vehicular collision with a motor car.
“The Minister was taken to a city hospital for medical attention shortly after the accident. An associate of the Minister facilitated the driver of the vehicle and the lone passenger to be taken to a city hospital for medical treatment. The matter was duly reported to the police and is being investigated.
“Without prejudice to the rights of all the parties to seek legal recourse, the Attorney General met with the driver, the owner of the vehicle and the passenger with a view of exploring the possibility of bringing the matter to an amicable end.”
A deal was eventually reached by the AG with Hira and Shivcharan on behalf of Singh.