Back to court for Panday, John and Galbaransingh in decades old Piarco scandal

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Back to court for Panday, John and Galbaransingh in decades old Piarco scandal

After more than a decade, it was back to court for all the players involved in the Piarco International Airport expansion scandal.

Former prime minister Basdeo Panday, his wife Oma, former minister Carlos John and businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh, virtually appeared before Magistrate Adia Mohammed on Friday, to set dates for the formal re-start of the inquiry.

It coincided with a hearing of the Piarco matter in the Miami district courts where pre-trial motions were heard ahead of trial in March.

A Newsday report claims that the inquiry is set to begin on March 6th.

Mohammed took over the matter in 2019 and said she received authorisation to start the case afresh.

The Pandays were charged with corruptly receiving money while John and Galbaransingh were charged with corruptly giving £25,000 to the couple.

John and Galbaransingh were accused of giving Panday the money as an inducement or reward in relation to the Piarco airport expansion project.
The Pandays and the others were charged in 2005.

In their application resisting its restart, John and Galbaransingh argued the continuation of the prosecution after 17 years would amount to oppression and the proceedings ought to stop as an abuse of the process of the court having regard to the inexcusable and inordinate delay by the State.
They also argued their constitutional rights to a fair trial will be prejudiced.

The charges against the former prime minister were linked to wider charges against several businessmen and businesses. In all, there are four related inquiries, none of which have gone to trial.