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Nandlall intervenes following threat and arrest to Attorney Clarke, issues apology

Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall SC

Attorney General Anil Nandlall apologised to Attorney-at-Law Tamieka Clarke and arranged for her release after she was threatened and later detained by SOCU.

Attorney-at-Law advised her client to exercise his right to remain silent, which led to her arrest by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) at around 10:00 hrs on Friday.

While it remains unclear why she was taken into custody, Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall says he promptly arranged for her release and issued an apology when hearing what had occurred.

Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes had also stated during a livestream earlier today that he had arranged for Clarke’s release.

The Minister also engaged SOCU Head Fizal Karimbaksh in his capacity as the Constitutional Legal Advisor to the Police Force.

“In that explanation, of course, he confirmed that Ms. Clarke was being detained. I advised Mr. Karimbaksh to immediately release Ms. Clarke from police custody. I spoke with Ms. Clarke, and I informed her of my intervention and my advice, and I offered my apologies as a colleague of the bar for the unfortunate incident.”

A statement from the Bar Association alleges the arrest follows a threat made to the Attorney-at-Law earlier this week that she would be arrested if her client does not give a Statement to the Police on a matter they are investigating.

Clarke practised with the Director of Public Prosecutions for four years and has been in private practice for the past three years. Speaking at a press briefing earlier today, she recollected the events leading up to her arrest, including being threatened on Tuesday last.

“(Officer) Ramanah told me you and your client are going to come back on Thursday at 1pm. If your client does not give a statement on Thursday at 1pm, I will arrest you. I said, ‘You are arresting me for advising my client to remain silent?’. He said, ‘Counsel, all I can advise you is that counsel will need counsel.’.”

The Bar Association has called on the Commissioner of Police to issue an apology to Clarke, compensate her for unlawful imprisonment, launch a full investigation and terminate the officers involved.

The Guyana Association of Women Lawyers and Bar Association have both vehemently condemned the actions of SOCU.

The Police Office of Professional Responsibility has since been instructed to launch an investigation into the allegations.

Attorney-at-Law Clarke has also signalled her intentions to take legal actions against the state.

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