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GUYANA | MP Sanjeev Datadin withdraws as prosecutor in GECOM Officers' fraud case

  • Written by Wiredja.com- Calvin G. Brown
  • Published in Justice
Featured PPP MP Sanjeev Datadin PPP MP Sanjeev Datadin
GEORGETOWN, November 9, 2020 - Wiredja Online News understands that People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament Sanjeev Datadin has withdrawn from serving as lead prosecutor in the criminal proceedings against Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield and Deputy CEO, Roxanne Myers.

C.A.Nigel Hughes 350x350Attorney-at-law Nigel HughesThis follows the expiry of an ultimatum last Monday from attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes, threatening to file a court action if the DPP did not withdraw Datadin from the case involving his clients who are officers of the Guyana Elections Commission, GECOM.

The Stabroek News quotes an October 30th letter from Datadin to Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack as saying: “I am of the view that I will serve justice and the people of Guyana best by not providing a mechanism for delay or a target for baseless and time-consuming letters and possible litigation.”

“In the circumstances, I humbly ask that you release me, fortwith, from the fiat to prosecute; so that the matters may proceed speedily and there be no further delay to the hearing of these matters.”

Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes had written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, formally requesting that she revokes the appointment of People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament Sanjeev Datadin as special prosecutor into the ongoing election fraud cases.

This followed the announcement that Datadin had been appointed to lead the team of  private prosecuting attorneys which include Glenn Hanoman, Ganesh Hira, George Thomas, Mark Conway and Perry Gosai.

Hughes told the media that his objection to Datadin’s appointment was based on the fact that he has direct association with the PPP/C which had openly expressed its position on Lowenfield and Myers.

Mr. Hughes pointed out that Datadin is a sitting Member of Parliament for a political party in a case that will clearly have political consequences and he, therefore, cannot be expected to execute his job as prosecutor in a fair manner.

“We have pointed out that the duty of a prosecutor is to be fair and the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act oblige prosecutors to be fair. All prosecutors have an obligation to disclose information which may be favourable to a defendant. The appointment of a sitting government MP may create the appearance of bias and conflict with the professional obligations imposed on a prosecutor and consequently adversely impact the right to a fair hearing,” Mr. Hughes said.

He explained that Rule 13 Part v of the Legal Practitioners Act states: “when an attorney-at-Law is engaged as a prosecutor, his prime duty is not to seek to convict, but to place the facts dispassionate before the Court.”

When contacted, Mr. Hughes said he was yet to be formally advised of Datadin’s withdrawal as special prosecutor from the case.

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  • Countries: Guyana