All requested documents handed over to SOCU

- GBTI maintains

Though the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is saying that it has not received all the documents requested from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) in its US$500 million Guyana Rice Development Board probe, the bank continues to maintain that it has handed over all the documents.

After an in-chamber hearing before acting Chief Justice Roxane George yesterday afternoon, Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran, who is representing the bank, explained to Stabroek News everything SOCU has asked for has been supplied.

According to Ramkarran, he is yet to read a letter sent to him by Solicitor General Kim Kyte regarding what SOCU is claiming is a list of outstanding documents.

Counsel said that once he would have read the letter, he would then ascertain whether the documents being requested were already submitted. If this is the case, Ramkarran made it clear that they will not be resupplied.

The matter continues on January 26 of next year for reports on whether all the documents have been supplied. Additionally, the Chief Justice will rule on whether the correct manner of certification was used for the documents.

Ramkarran said that when the matter continues, also, the court will examine whether the outstanding documents to which SOCU is referring includes bankers’ books.

Counsel noted that the bank is not required to supply such category of documents.

SOCU had previously argued that among documents it received there were some which were not properly certified.

In previous addresses to the court, the bank had said, among other things, that it could not produce some of the documents since they had already been destroyed as their retention period had expired.

After so initially indicating however, GBTI, at an October 20 hearing, was granted two weeks by the chief justice to find the documents.

On November 16, attorney Ramkarran reported that the documents were located and handed over to SOCU. 

The bank had failed in its bid to have the chief justice grant an interim stay of all further proceedings against its chairman and directors, who were placed before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on November 6 to answer contempt charges.

The charges against the bank’s Chairman Robin Stoby SC and directors John Tracey, Edward Beharry, Suresh Beharry, Kathryn Eytle-McLean, Basil Mahadeo, Carlton James and Richard Isava, were for failing to comply with an order to produce the documents.

The contempt charges were instituted by the SOCU after they failed to make available, the documents requested for the probe. 

The initial production order was made by Justice George on August 29. 

SOCU is being represented by the Solicitor General and attorney Leslyn Noble.

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