The Chief Magistrate yesterday ordered the attorney representing former Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington to correct orders to stay misconduct in public office proceedings against them.
Neither Singh, 45, of Lot 129 Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara nor Brassington, 50, of 118 Cowan Street, Kingston, was present when the matter was called before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
Attorney Ronald Burch-Smith appeared on behalf of the duo.
During the hearing yesterday, Burch-Smith reported that orders for the stay of the proceedings were granted by the High Court in relation to four charges against the men, three of which were read and one which was neither sworn to nor read.
However, after perusing the documentation, the magistrate noted that the orders did not refer to anything before the court. Burch-Smith was then advised by the Chief Magistrate to have the orders corrected and set September 3rd for the next hearing.
On May 8th, both Singh and Brassington were jointly charged with three counts of misconduct in public office over the sale of three tracts of government land on the East Coast of Demerara, between December, 2008 and May, 2011.
In one instance, it is alleged that the property was sold below market value, while in the other two the deals went ahead without proper valuations of the land.
A fourth charge, which is still to be read to the men, stems from the controversial sale of the former Sanata Textiles Complex to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII).
The charge alleges that Singh, performing the duties of Minister of Finance and Chairman of the NICIL, and Brassington, as CEO of NICIL, between October 26th, 2010 and December 20th, 2010 at Lot 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, by way of agreement of sale and purchase, acted recklessly when they sold the Sanata Textiles Complex with building and erections thereon, being 18.1871 acres, to QAII for $697,864,800 plus VAT,
knowing that the said property was valued at the sum of $1,042,403, 500 and was therefore sold at a price that was grossly undervalued, thereby creating a breach of their duties.