Decades old Piarco corruption case against Panday, John and Galbaransingh withdrawn

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Decades old Piarco corruption case against Panday, John and Galbaransingh withdrawn

The decades-old Piarco Airport corruption case against former prime minister Basdeo Panday, his wife Oma, former minister Carlos John and businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh has been withdrawn.

Reports state that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Roger Gaspard, SC, withdrew the matter this morning, just as it was expected to go to trial before Magistrate Adia Mohammed.

Gaspard told the court the Piarco inquiry involving the four was one of “some antiquity.”

“I have looked at these proceedings and I am of the view that having regard to the fact that several of our key witnesses have now become unavailable, and bearing in mind, My Lady, my guiding yardsticks, those being whether or not in the circumstances, to prosecute this matter or in the prosecution of this matter there will be a fair prospect of conviction and whether to prosecute this matter, if on the evidence, there is a fair prospect of conviction such that prosecution will be in the public interest, I have decided to go no further with this matter.”

This latest action comes after Mohammed had dismissed an application last September by the four for their discharge, after the State asked for an adjournment to determine the way forward when the magistrate 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.

Gaspard also said he felt constrained to advise citizens that, “the ruling by the Judicial Committee does not pertain to other matters which fall outside of those that comprise Piarco One.”