Nandlall was charged on April 27, when he appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore, for fraudulently obtaining and taking ownership of 14 Commonwealth Law Reports valued at $2.3M and that he was not required to plea to the indictable charge. He was granted self-bail and is being represented by Attorney-at-Law, Glenn Hanoman.
When the matter was called for hearing before Magistrate Azore, yesterday, SOCU Special Prosecutor, Patrice Henry, requested an amendment of the charge to read “Law Reports of the Commonwealth” and not “Commonwealth Law Reports.” This request was granted by Magistrate Azore.
The name of the books was the issue of some controversy, last week, when SOCU attempted to secure a search warrant for Nandlall’s premises.
The initial Conservatory Order, which restrained SOCU and ranks of the Guyana Police Force from searching his premises, was granted on April 25, 2017, by Chief Justice Roxane George, Senior Counsel (SC). That order referred to the law books as the Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR). However, the law books are actually titled the Law Reports of the Commonwealth, which are sourced from (Butterworths) Lexis Nexis, United Kingdom (LRC).
Nandlall has since been successful in his move to the High Court to secure a court order to quash a search warrant obtained by SOCU – a search warrant where the books were correctly named, as opposed to the name in the order granted by Justice George. Nandlall had said that SOCU was exploiting a typographical error in its move to secure a search warrant.
Additionally, in court yesterday, more statements in the matter were finally served to Nandlall’s Attorney, Neil Boston, Senior Counsel. The SOCU Prosecutor told the court that there is at least one outstanding statement to be presented.
Nandlall’s Attorney, requested that there be an adjournment because his client was not in the country. This request was later granted by the magistrate.
The trial is expected to continue on August 10.
SOCU’s actions related to the widely commented on issue of law books, which – as Nandlall and Former President, Donald Ramotar have explained – were paid for by the State as a condition of his service as Attorney General.