AG’s case against 9 HDC officials… ALLEGATIONS OVER SALE OF LAND

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Almost one week has passed and not a word from the Office of the Attorney General over the case it filed against nine former public officials.

The documents have been sealed at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, and neither of the nine former public officials has been served with the allegations.

But the case which the Office of the Attorney General is building is over a parcel of land which was sold to the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). According to reports, the land was initially agricultural land, which was converted to commercial land by the owners.

After the land was converted, it was then sold to the HDC to be used for the construction of a housing development. It is alleged that something amiss took place in that transaction and that is the allegation being made by the Attorney General to go after the former public officials.

No one knows when the documents will be unsealed or when the case will be heard in open court.

Former Minister of Housing and Urban Development is already on record as saying that the case against the nine would fail.

“So far they have made bold statements and announced with fanfare that they are taking civil action against unknown parties to recover monies wrongly spent and persons who may have improperly collected money but 160 hours later, we don’t have a clue as to who are those persons and what is the course of action,” Moonilal said.

Moonilal said, “It is unparalleled in the Commonwealth that a democratic Government will secretly embark on a prosecution against unnamed defendants. To this day we don’t know which state sector agencies are involved or which ministers are involved and this is a very bizarre and macabre development in our politics.”

He accused Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of seeking to muzzle him using the court of law. Moonilal said, “They have done an audit at the HDC for one million taxpayers’ dollars and they have arrived at a finding that the HDC spent the money allocated by Parliament. Those audits across the state sector have now added up to $10 million and they have found nothing.”

“I intend to take a broom to the Parliament to give to Faris Al-Rawi so he may continue his witch-hunt.”
Last Thursday, Rowley announced that the AG had filed the first anti-corruption case in the courts through the Office of the Attorney Gene­ral. Al-Rawi said it had to do with “corruption, mismanagement” and the effort to make people accountable for what they have done.

Saying the matter involved ten months of continuous work, Al-Rawi said the case includes former HDC officials and the alleged misappropriation involves hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The nature of matters surround the core of corruption, unjust enrichment, the breach of certain duties but it is squarely designed to tackle corruption, mismanagement and to ask people to account for what they have done,” Al-Rawi said.

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