When the misconduct case against former Finance Minister Winston Jordan was called on Wednesday in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, the Special Organised Crime Unit’s (SOCU’s) Prosecutor was a no-show for the second time.
Last month when the matter was called, Senior Magistrate Leron Daly had to reschedule the hearing to September 14, after the Prosecutor was a no-show. Notwithstanding this time, she has fixed October 1, 2020, for report.
Jordan, who served as Minister under the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition, was first arraigned on December 28, 2021, and was not required to plead to the charge. He was released on $3 million bail.
The charge alleged that while being the concerned Minister for the government-owned National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), he, between February 26 and July 31, 2020, at Main Street, Georgetown, willfully misconducted himself by acting recklessly when he signed NICIL (Transfer of Property) Order, No. 50 of 2020.
The Order, which was published in the Official Gazette of Guyana, saw Jordan transferring to and vesting to BK Marine Inc. all buildings, erections, stellings, platforms, and further appurtenances, at Mudlots 1 & 2, F of Mudlot 3, A, B & D.
The cost of the property was valued at over $5 billion, but it was sold for $20,260,276. The Court said this was grossly undervalued to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust without reasonable excuse or justification.
The former Finance Minister is represented by Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde, SC, in association with Khemraj Ramjattan, Joseph Harmon, Darren Wade, and Dawn Cush.
Last week, High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds threw out a lawsuit filed by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, who was seeking to overturn the controversial sale of the lands to BK Marine.
Justice Reynolds ruled that while Nandlall General is authorised to bring an action for misfeasance in public office against Jordan, he did not satisfy the elements of the tort in the case at bar.
In light of this, the Judge noted that the litigation constituted an abuse of the Court’s process and struck out the case. BK Marine and Jordan were awarded $2 million each in costs.