Former Minister of Housing and Water under the People’s Progressive Party government, Irfaan Ali, has been slapped with several charges related to the sale of government lands to PPP government officials and the development of the same lands to accommodate them.
He was arrested at his home this morning by agents of the Special Organised Crime Unit.
His arrest followed an investigation that has been ongoing for over a year and which examined the sale and transfer of state lands at prices below market value to the then government officials.
With five lawyers at his side, Ali appeared in Court this morning to face the nineteen charges related to the Pradoville Two lands.
The Court was told that the former Minister conspired with others to defraud the Government of Guyana by acting recklessly in the sale of the Government lands.
The SOCU Prosecutor, Patrice Henry, said bail should be set at a substantial level, but the Chief Magistrate granted Ali self bail.
Just after the matter ended, Ali declared his innocence to the media and thanked his colleagues in the PPP for their support.
He said the charges are without merit and he is confident of being vindicated of no wrongdoing. He said he believes the move to charge him is part of a move to silence members of the opposition, but he will not be silenced.
SOCU has been questioning a number of former Government officials in relation to the sale of the state lands under the last government.
The former President Bharrat Jagdeo was among those hauled before SOCU investigators to face questioning.