Handwriting examiner testifies in law reports fraud trial

The trial of former Attorney General Anil Nandlall over the alleged fraudulent conversion of law reports, valued at over $2 million, continued yesterday with the testimony of a handwriting examiner.

It is alleged that Nandlall, between May 8th, 2015 and May 29th, 2015, at Georgetown, being a bailee and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and having 14 Law Reports of the Commonwealth, valued at $2,313,853 and property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, fraudulently took or converted the reports to his own use and benefit.

When the matter reassumed yesterday before trial magistrate Fabayo Azore, Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) prosecutor Patrice Henry called on handwriting expert Amir Mohammed to present evidence in the matter.

However, prior to Mohammed presenting evidence, he was not deemed an expert but instead a handwriting examiner, after the prosecutor presented the court with a certificate indicating that he received training on ‘Basic Handwriting.”

During his testimony, Mohammed stated that he examined three documents—a transmittal statement, a Guyana passport application form and a letter to the Registrar—bearing Nandlall’s signature.

The witness noted that after a side by side examination of the documents, he found a number of features that were similar and he was able to form the opinion that all the signatures were written by the same author.

Mohammed further noted that he made enlarged photocopies of the identified features of the defendant’s signature and later cut and mounted them side by side on a handwriting chart, dated May 25th, 2017, which was tendered and marked an exhibit.

Subsequent to Mohammed’s testimony, Inspector Richard Frank, who is stationed at SOCU, testified and was subjected to cross-examination, followed by Neilkumarie Etwaroo, who was also subjected to cross-examination.

The matter was then adjourned until March 12th.

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