Charge against ex-GMC boss, others discloses no crime – lawyer argues

One of the lawyers representing former General Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) Nizam Hassan, who is accused of approving payments for substandard work on the rehabilitation of the company’s Robb Street headquarters, yesterday argued that the charge laid against the man discloses no criminal offence.

It is alleged that the former Agriculture Ministry engineer Hanniel Madramootoo conspired with Hassan and others to approve payments to Constantine Engineering and Construction Services, although the works were “incompetently and incorrectly” done.

The charges were laid after a Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) probe of the findings in a forensic audit.

Nizam Hassan
Felicia De Souza Madramootoo

So far, only Hassan and Felicia De Souza Madramootoo, the wife of the engineer, have been charged.

The other co-defendants in the case are Hanniel Madramootoo, his brother Phillip Madramootoo, and his friend Nizam Ramkissoon, both Directors of Constantine Engineering and Construction Services Limited, which is said to be based in Trinidad and Tobago.

During yesterday’s hearing before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, the court heard that the other accused have yet to be arrested.

Attorney Singh-Lammy, who is represents the two accused before the court in association with attorney Glenn Hanoman, laid over preliminary submissions to the court and Prosecutor Neville Jeffers.

In the submissions, he stated that the charges against Hassan and De Souza Madramootoo discloses no criminal offence.

Prosecutor Jeffers requested an adjournment to respond to the submissions and to report on the other three accused. The matter was subsequently adjourned to January 30.

The charge against the accused states that Hanniel Madramootoo, who was the Project Engineer within the Ministry of Agriculture, conspired to commit a misdemeanour of procuring money to be paid by false pretence with intent to defraud, together with the others between October 28, 2010 and April 25, 2012.

It is alleged that they continuously approved payments which were made to Constantine Engineering and Construction Services Limited for works that were “incompetently and incorrectly” done with inferior materials to rehabilitate the GMC building at Robb and Alexander streets, Bourda, fully knowing that such works should not have been approved for payments.

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