All six pleaded not guilty, today, when asked to respond to the charges against them. They appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan.
The charge, according to the Special Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU), is that the six persons – while acting as Directors on the Board of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) – failed to enter a total of $362M in transactions into the Board’s general ledger during the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
There was no claim that the money is missing or that it was misappropriated, only that it was not entered into the GRDB general ledger, which is the role of the Board’s accounting officers, not the Directors.
Meanwhile, the SOCU Prosecutors asked for two weeks to complete their work relating to gathering exhibits, indicating that they were not ready to proceed with the matter.
After initially being charged, last month, the six persons were released on GYD$500,000 bail each. The six persons were required to lodge their passports. Today the court ordered that the passports be returned.
The matter has been adjourned to July 11, 2017.