Former Minister of Housing slapped with 19 charges
PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali
PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali

…released on self bail
Former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali was on Wednesday hauled before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates Court and was slapped with 19 charges in relation to the corrupt sale of state lands at Pradoville 2, East Coast Demerara.

Ali, 38 of Sea-spray, Leonora, West Coast Demerara, was not required to the charges which are laid indictable.

The charges read that between the year 2010 and 2015, he conspired with persons to defraud the Government of Guyana by selling plots of land at Plantation Sparendaam and Goedverwagting East Coast Demerara without acquiring an evaluation of the land with the true value. Ali is accused of defrauding the state of over $174M after selling the land at an undervalued price.

He is accused of selling the lands to Former President Bharrat Jagdeo, Former Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon and Former ministers Priya Manickchand, Dr. Jennifer Westford, Robert Persaud and Clement Rohee, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack, and former army head Gary Best and Fortune Developers Inc. Guyana.

He also sold lands at the locations to former General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board and daughter of former President Donald Ramotar, Lisaveta Ramotar; former President of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo , the son of former Labour Minister Dr Nanda Gopaul, Dr Ghansham Singh, former Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Chief Executive Officer Rajendra Singh, former president of the the Caribbean Development Bank. Guyana and the world Compton Bourne, Andrew Bishop, former Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission; Safraaz Khan and George Halla.

Special Organize Crime Unit Prosecutor Patrice Henry made no objection to bail.

Ali was presented by attorneys-at-law Anil Nandlall, Priya Manickchand, Jaya Manickchand, Sase Gunraj, and David Kissoon.

The attorneys argued for their client to be released on self bail on the grounds that he does not pose a flight risk.

Manickchand argued that the charges were trumped up and are political in nature.

She added that the sale of the lands were done in accordance of the national policies.

Nevertheless the Chief Magistrate released Ali on self bail and adjourned the matter until January 7, 2019.

“This has made me stronger, I’m more resolute, I’m standing on a stronger foundation,” Ali told the media after his release.

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