Former Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington says he had notified SOCU and the police of his willingness to co-operate fully with any investigations they may be conducting.
In a letter sent last night to this newspaper, Brassington, who now lives abroad, was responding to a news item in the last Sunday Stabroek headlined `SOCU actively seeking Brassington, Ashni Singh’.
Brassington in his letter said that he was surprised by the report as over a year ago his attorneys had written to the Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit, Sydney James and the Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud notifying of his willingness to co-operate with any probe. He released a copy of the letter which stated in part that “…despite being out of the jurisdiction , Mr Brassington is available to fully co-operate with any investigations, and provide evidence by affidavit or video conference as is necessary to facilitate any inquiries”.
He said SOCU has made no effort to contact him since his attorneys’ letter of April 14, 2016.
A copy of his letter follows:
I note your article on Sunday June 25th entitled: “SOCU actively seeking Brassington, Ashni Singh.”
Permit me to make a few points.
If your report is indeed true, I find it strange that the business of SOCU is being discussed with the media, when no effort has been made to contact me. I note that this is not the first time this has happened. Earlier newspaper articles relating to the forensic audits reveal a pattern of collusion between SOCU and certain media matters, where matters supposedly under investigation, are divulged to select sections of the media and published in a one-sided manner. You may recall that the final forensic audit reports on NICIL and AHI were serially leaked, weeks before it was released to the NICIL Board of Directors or myself. These media leaks are prejudicial to a fair and impartial process.
Regarding SOCU “actively” seeking me, I find it strange, when over a year ago, on April 14, 2016, the attached letter was dispatched by my attorneys to the Head of SOCU, Lt. Colonel Sydney James, with a copy to the Commissioner of Police (COP), with both offices signing for receipt of the letter. My attorneys letter stated “…..despite being out of the jurisdiction, Mr. Brassington is available to fully co-operate with any investigations, and provide evidence by affidavit or video conference as is necessary to facilitate any inquiries. Please contact either myself or counsellor Mark Waldron with any question you may have concerning our client.”
To date, no request has been submitted to my attorneys.
Please also note that further to my letter of resignation in January 2016 to NICIL, the Board of NICIL confirmed acceptance of my resignation, thanked me for my 20 + years of service to NICIL/PU and paid me my remaining benefits. Since that time, NICIL has sought assistance from me on various matters via email, to which I have assisted by responding as best as I could.
You may additionally recall that in 2015, our team responded paragraph by paragraph to the preliminary forensic audit reports (which are now public). In December 2015, I addressed many issues via a press conference in the boardroom of NICIL. Your newspaper published multiple reports including legal opinions from first class attorneys addressing key legal issues raised in the audit reports. I pointed out that NICIL was audited every year under my watch, and clean audit opinions issued. I recall even attending a shareholders meeting of NICIL in 2015 under the current Government, where the 2013 audited accounts were approved.
Suffice to say, it would be nice if due process was followed on matters of interest to SOCU involving myself. I believe that any questions not already answered in prior audit responses or the various publications issued over the years, can reasonably be responded to.
In conclusion, when SN headline states that SOCU is “…actively seeking Brassington …”, when there has not been a single instance of SOCU doing this per the 14 April 2016 letter from my attorneys, it becomes clear that the SN June 25, 2017 article is misleading and inaccurate or at best, contradictory.
Thank you for publishing this letter.