key prosecution’s documentary evidence the police investigation report heavily relied upon to bring criminal charges against former Executive Protection Service (EPS), deputy director of operation, Darlington George was yesterday rejected by Criminal Court ‘B’ at the Temple of Justice. Judge Karboi Nuta’s decision stemmed from Cllr. Sunifu S. Sheriff, a state lawyer’s confession about their failure to make that evidence available to the defense team, even after the court subpoenaed (ordered) them (state lawyers) to do so.The case has been going on since 2016 with prosecution producing four witnesses, including the victim Esther Glain, without releasing series of documentary evidence to the defense team.It was not clear why the prosecution chose to withhold that particular evidence from the defense team.George and co-defendant James Tamba, assigned with Vice President Joseph N. Boakai were charged with aggravated and simple assault and criminal facilitation in connection with the alleged brutality against a lady, identified as Esther Glain in Barnesville estate area in 2015.The dramatic event occurred yesterday while Sheriffs attempted to take the police investigation report, among other documentary evidence, to the court for their endorsement.It was at that movement that defense lawyer Jonathan T. Massaqoui asked for permission to allow him to have a final look at the prosecution’s evidence.At that stage, Massaqoui discovered the police investigation sheet among the documents and asked the court not to include it among the other evidences.Massaqoui raised the issue and argued that allowing the evidence was prejudicial, because the prosecution has failed to furnish them with that document.Based on that contention, Judge Nuta temporarily stopped the case and subsequently inquired from Sheriffs as to whether or not they have submitted that document to the defense team, which was answered in the negative.The response prompted the judge to reject the evidence, despite prosecution’s plea for two hours to produce the document to Massaqoui which was also denied.Defending his action, Nuta said, on December 16, last year, the court ordered the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to make all pieces of evidence in their possession, including the investigative report, to the defense team, which they refused to comply.“Their action is clearly a violation of the court’s order and they were proceeding wrongly in accordance to a criminal proceeding of which they should have furnished every piece of evidence they had gathered to the defense team before the trial,” the criminal court judge explained.“Therefore,” Judge Nuta declared, “prosecution’s plea for two hours to make available the evidence to the defense team is denied.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Thursday approved a US$11.6 million loan for Guyana which will go towards a project designed to support the strengthening and sustainability of the energy sector here by contributing to the institutional development of oil and gas governance and cleaner energy sources for electricity generation.The specific objectives of the loan programme are first, to develop a management and planning framework for Guyana’s oil and gas sector; and second, to contribute towards the development of a policy framework so that Guyana may diversify its electricity generation matrix using cleaner or renewable sources.“Guyana’s new energy scenario, which will likely yield significant revenues for the Government, represents a transformative shift in Guyana’s development trajectory. It embodies a crucial and unprecedented opportunity for economic growth and sustainable development,” a statement from the IDB added.It was further stated that the conversion of short-term oil wealth into long-term, well-being hinges on the capacity of the Guyanese Government to adequately manage this new sector and enact productivity-enhancing reforms.The IDB said if handled well; it can boost the overall standard of living for the country. However, there is considerable work to be done so that Guyana can enjoy the benefits of its recent – and potential – oil and gas wealth.The institution also highlighted that too often resource-rich countries have become or remained poor as a result of inadequate resource management. Hence, there is an urgent need to improve the governance of Guyana’s oil and gas sector ahead of production in 2020.The agreed-upon policy commitments of the first tranche of the programme were geared towards establishing a department of energy within the Ministry of the Presidency to take over responsibilities related to the governance and development of Guyana’s oil and gas sector.The second commitment was to approve the department draft roadmap to develop Guyana’s oil and gas institutional framework, and; design of a model contract for future Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) by the department and presented to Guyana’s Ministry of the Presidency.Now that the second tranche has been disbursed, the Government will now have to ensure that the Department functions are placed in a manual establishing its organisational structure, budget and staff allocation, approved by the Ministry of the Presidency.Additionally, it was be tasked with establishing a set of protocols and mechanisms for contract management; and an oil and gas depletion policy designed by the Department and presented for approval to the Ministry of the Presidency.Finally, the programme will also aid Government with the development of a policy framework to diversify and promote the sustainability of Guyana’s electricity generation matrix.The loan is funded in two components totalling US$11.64 million. The first component will total US$5.82 million from the IDB’s ordinary capital; disburse within two years, with a grace period of five and a half years, and an interest rate.The second component will total US$5.82 million from the IDB’s concessional ordinary capital; disbursed within two years, with a grace period of 40 years, and 0.25 per cent interest rate. The executing agency will be the local Finance Ministry.