Final prosecution witness begins testimony in GBTI contempt trial

Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) Forensic Analyst Sherroni James began testimony on Wednesday as the final prosecution witness in the trial of eight members of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) Board of Directors, who are charged with failing to comply with a court order.

Robin Stoby, SC, who is also Chairman of the Board; Edward Anand Beharry, Chairman of Edward Beharry and Sons Ltd; Suresh Beharry, Vice-Chairman of Edward Beharry and Sons Ltd; Richard Isava, an investment banker; Shaleeza Shaw; Carlton James; Basil Mahadeo; and Kathryn Eytle-McLean are alleged to have failed to comply with an order issued by the acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, for the production of documents for an ongoing criminal investigation.

James gave evidence on the role that she has played in the ongoing US$500 million Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) probe being conducted by SOCU.

James testified that her investigation into the matter led to a court order being issued. On August 29th, 2017, she explained, a production order was granted by the Chief Justice to be served on GBTI, the bank with which GRDB held a US-dollar account.

She stated that she was present on August 29th, 2017 when the production order was served at GBTI’s Head Office.

She also testified to receiving four envelopes with documents on September 6th, which was the deadline for the production of the documents. She added that she received a number envelopes containing documents on dates after September 6th, including September 7th, 11th, 12th and 13th.

The trial is set to continue on April 10th with further evidence to be given by James.

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