Guyana: Trial of Former Permanent Secretary Omar Shariff and wife continues

“I did not breach the court order,” were the words of former Permanent Secretary (PS) of Ministry of the Presidency, Omar Shariff, during the

Omar Shariff and wife Savitri Hardeo

continuation of his trial before Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

Shariff has been under investigation where over $500M could not be accounted for in payment to the Public Service Ministry.  Investigators found several large sums passing through his bank accounts and launched a separate probe.

That investigation was probing how billions of dollars passed through Shariff’s bank accounts from as far back as 2010, following records showing that he and his wife purchased shares in companies which were placed in her name.

There were hundreds of transactions in several bank accounts which were held at different commercial banks.

Shariff is charged along with his wife, Savitri Hardeo, for failing to comply with a court order.
It is alleged that Shariff, 46, and his wife Savitri Hardeo, 32, both of 36 Dowding Street, Kitty, Georgetown, on or after October 14, 2016, failed to comply with a Production Order issued by the previous Chief Justice (CJ) Yonette Cummings-Edwards.

COURT ORDER

The order was for the defendants to produce certain named documents to Assistant Commissioner of Police and Head of the Special Organized Crime Unit, (SOCU), Sydney James, no later than seven days after the service of the order.

However Shariff is said to have contravened the said order without reasonable cause, and failed to produce the documents. The defendants yesterday led their defence and they gave unsworn evidence in relation to the matter.

According to Shariff, he received a court order on October 6, 2016. However; a copy of that order was not given to his wife. He said at the time of receiving the order he did not have any of the requested documents in his possession or control.

“Some of what I knew about (documents) was at GRA (Guyana Revenue Authority). The copies were kept in my computer which was in SOCU’s (Special Organised Crime Unit) possession.”

The former PS said that he set about putting together the documents he could get his hands on by applying to the banks and suppliers for copies. He added that he gave a statement and delivered these to one Mr Vieira at SOCU.

He ended his evidence by saying “Your worship I did not breach the court order.”
Moreover, his wife in her short evidence to the court stated, “I have never received any documents from SOCU or anyone in relation to court documents requesting me to submit documents to SOCU.”

Attorney-at-law Glenn Hanoman, who is representing the defendants, asked for the matter to be adjourned so that he can review some documents which were presented by prosecution.

The case will be recalled on October 25, next, for the defence to address the court.

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Comments

  • Zenith  On 09/29/2019 at 11:15 am

    What horrible, nasty people.

  • Tata  On 10/01/2019 at 12:35 am

    An unfortunate breakdown of law and order in Guyana and until people respect the rule of law, then this lawlessness and disrespect for the rule of law will continue to plague Guyana . Sadly, criminal elements within the government will continue to flaunt this type of behavior out of disrespect for authority.

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