PPP/C MPs file private criminal charges against ministers Lawrence, Norton

-$605m drug purchase from ANSA, bond rental cited

Minister of Public Health (MoPH) Volda Lawrence, and former Minister of that ministry, Dr George Norton

PPP/C Members of Parliament Juan Edghill and Vickram Bharrat have filed private criminal charges against Minister of Public Health (MoPH) Volda Lawrence, and former Minister of that ministry, Dr George Norton, for alleged misconduct and abuse of public trust.

The charges were filed today at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court by former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, and come exactly one week after former Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, were charged in absentia with three counts of misconduct in public office.

Nandlall is also representing Singh and Brassington in that matter.

The charge against Lawrence alleges that she, “being and performing the duties of Minister of Public Health of the Government of Guyana, between 16th January, 2017 and 16th February, 2017, in the City of Georgetown in the Georgetown Magisterial District, in the County of Demerara, in the State of Guyana, willfully misconducted herself in a way which amounted to an abuse of public trust without reasonable excuse or justification, when she authorised or caused the unapproved single sourcing and purchase of drugs and medical supplies for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, in the city of Georgetown from ANSA McAl Trading Limited, a company incorporated under the Laws of Guyana, for the excessive sum of six hundred and five million, nine hundred and sixty-two thousand, two hundred dollars ($605,962,200).”

The charge against Norton claims that he, while “performing the duties of Minister of Public Health of the Government of Guyana, on 1st June, 2016, in the City of Georgetown in the Georgetown Magisterial District, in the County of Demerara, in the State of Guyana, willfully misconducted himself in a way which amounted to an abuse of public trust without reasonable excuse or justification, when he authorised or caused the rental, of the property known as and situated at 29 Sussex Street Albouystown, in the city of Georgetown from Linden Holdings Incorporated, a Limited Liability Company, incorporated under the Laws of Guyana, for the sum of twelve million five hundred thousand dollars ($12,500,000) exclusive of VAT, per month, by way of a written Agreement of Tenancy at an excessive rate of rental.”

Norton and Lawrence are to be summoned, and are expected to appear in court on April 24th.

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