Nandlall queries role of UK expert in SOCU work.
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall today queried the role of UK expert Sam Sittlington in the operations of the Special Organised Crime Unit which saw the arrest of former President Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday and the questioning of several former PPP/C Ministers.
An abridged statement from Nandlall follows:
I note that Mr. Sam Sittlington has taken the liberty of making statements which have political underpinnings and seems to be functioning as part of the operations of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). As a result, I now question his role in the law enforcement process of Guyana. Is he operating under the auspices of the British High Commission in Guyana? If so, then one will have to assume that there is some linkage between his actions and the British Government. This must be clarified by the British High Commission.
Or, is he a consultant and if so, for whom is he consulting and who is really paying him? If he is a consultant, then it would appear that he is acting way outside of his remit and is engaged in operational matters.
I recall as Attorney General, Mr. Sittlington, was around offering his services to assist the then Government in dealing with the Anti-Money Laundering Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) issues at the time. However, the Government did not retain his services because our difficulties at the time was getting the Opposition’s majority support in Parliament for the Bills to be passed. I also recall that Opposition Members of Parliament were consulting him in assisting them in drafting counter amendments to the Government’s AML/CFT Amendment Bills.
It now appears, that this Government has either retained the gentleman or has promised him a contract, hence his deep involvement in this matter .
What has also become clear, is that the Government itself seem to be divided on the arrests which took place on Tuesday of Former President Jagdeo and other officials of the PPP Government by SOCUs officers. The President, Mr. David Granger, at the meeting with Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, at State House last Wednesday, at which I was present, was apologetic, claiming that he was unaware of the incidents and that it was Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, who drew it to his attention. He explained, that Former Presidents should be treated with dignity and that he recognises that Governments change. The Leader of the Opposition expressed the view that some of his Ministers may be directing the SOCU officers. The President promised to personally inquire into the incident.