City magistrate Leron Daly on Tuesday adjourned the fraud proceedings brought against former members of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) in order to await the outcome of challenges filed in the High Court.
The charges against the accused allege that they failed to record entries for funds amounting to over $250 million in the agency’s general ledger.
Those charged are former GRDB General Manager Jagnarine Singh, former Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture Prema Roopnarine, agricultural consultant Madanlall ‘Ricky’ Ramraj, business consultant Badrie Persaud, General Secretary of the Rice Producers Association, PPP/C MP Dharamkumar Seeraj, and PPP/C MP Nigel Dharamlall
When the matter was called before Magistrate Daly, attorneys Glenn Hanoman and Anil Nandlall, who are representing Roopnarine, Ramraj, Singh, and Dharamlall, informed the court of High court proceedings that are underway in relation to the matters.
Nandlall told the court that he would have filed matters at the High Court in relation to the other named defendants. These proceedings are expected to be called for a hearing on July 10th.
As a result, Magistrate Daly subsequently adjourned the proceedings until July 16th, when a report is expected to be made.
In the High Court proceedings there has been a dispute as to whether the handover by the prosecution of a heavily redacted copy of the GRDB forensic audit report, which informed the charges, satisfied an order made by Justice Navindra Singh, who had given five days for the document to be produced, failing which the charges against Ramraj would be permanent stayed.
Nandlall had filed the application for the stay after contending that the prosecution failed to comply with an order made by trial Magistrate Daly to hand over the audit report to the defence.