Former PS confirms gov’t funds used to buy law reports for Nandlall

Former Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Legal Affairs Ministry Indira Anandjit yesterday testified that the funds used by former attorney general Anil Nandlall to purchase law reports, which are said to be the property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, were sourced from the Consolidated Fund.

Nandlall is currently standing trial on the charge that between May 8th, 2015 and May 29th, 2015, at Georgetown, being a bailee and Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs and having 14 Law Reports, valued at $2,313,853 and property of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, he fraudulently took or converted the reports to his own use and benefit.

When the trial resumed before trial Magistrate Fabayo Azore in Georgetown yesterday, Anandjit was called to testify by attorney Patrice Henry, who is prosecuting for the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).

During her testimony, Anandjit stated that during a conversation with the defendant she learnt that the law reports were purchased for the use of the AG’s chambers.  However, she noted that in May, 2015, one volume was delivered to the ministry.

Anandjit noted that she took the volume to the new AG, Basil Williams, indicating that it would be one of the books found in the chambers. She added that Williams stated that he didn’t see any of the books she mentioned, which prompted her to contact the defendant, who said he was in possession of them. The witness went on to state that she explained to Nandlall that the latest volume had arrived and that AG Williams said he was not finding any of the other volumes. It was then she said, that Nandlall informed her that he would meet AG Williams at Parliament, which he did, the following day.

The following day, Anandjit said that the accused called and explained that he met with AG Williams and told him about the books and that she need not worry as they had discussions.

According to the witness, after that conversation, she never had any other conversation in relation to the law books with AG Williams or Nandlall.

Anandjit was then subjected to cross-examination by attorney Neil Boston. Under cross-examination, it was discovered that the shipping account used to purchase the books from Nexus Lexus belonged to Nandlall.

However, under re-examination by SOCU prosecutor Henry, Anandjit confirmed that the funds used to purchase the books were sourced from the Consolidated Fund.

Earlier in the court proceedings, Trevor Reid, Superintendent of Police stationed at SOCU, testified to questioning the accused on April 24th, 2017, in the presence of Inspector Frank and attorneys Glenn Hanoman and Euclin Gomes, with respect to the law reports.

He noted that the accused indicated that he had the books in his possession and that they were at the home of his wife. He stated that his wife was overseas and that they were separated but that she would be in the country on April 25th, 2017 and that he would hand over the books on April 26th, 2017.

Based on what was said to him, Reid noted, he communicated to his superiors and based on directions Nandlall was sent away to return on April 26th, 2017. However, on that date, the witness stated that Nandlall returned to SOCU and when asked if he had the law reports he stated that he had been granted a conservatory order and that he would not be handing over the books.

Reid noted that a copy of the order was handed to him.

He was then subjected to cross-examination by attorney Hanoman

Also testifying yesterday was Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs.

Magistrate Latchman later adjourned the matter until April 5th.

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