Panday says burden lifted after DPP’s decision

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Panday says burden lifted after DPP’s decision

Former prime minister Basdeo Panday, says a burden has been lifted off his shoulders following the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard to discontinue one of four corruption cases against him, his wife and two others – Carlos John and Ish Galbaransingh, in relation to the Piarco International Airport.

In an interview with Caribbean Lifestyle Communications, Panday said: “This was a burden hanging on my shoulders and my whole personality for 18 years. Now that it is over I have to reconstitute my life.”

“I suppose this was a political prosecution. It seems that they cannot forgive me for building the finest airport in the Caribbean,” he added.

Gaspard, in explaining his decision on Monday, said it was based on the low probability of his office securing convictions in the case.
He explained that several key witnesses in the case have died since the group was charged in 2006 and one main witness is now elderly and lives abroad.

He also noted that the accused had a “fair argument” that they faced “presumed, presumptive, and specific” prejudice in the case.

The case against the group was one of four, related to the airport project, that were initiated following the construction of the airport.

Gaspard is yet to announce his decisions in relation to the other cases but is expected to do so when they come up for hearing later this year.