Former Minister of Public Service, Jennifer Westford was granted $800, 000 bail this morning on four attempted larceny charges which stemmed from the probe into the illegal transfer of government vehicles that belong to the Public Service Ministry.
The former Personnel Officer for the Minister, Margaret Cummings was granted $1.2 Million bail on four charges of forgery with the intent to defraud.
Dressed in a dark grey pants suit, the former PPP government Minister was the first to appear before Magistrate Ann McClennan to answer the attempted larceny charges. The Magistrate read the charges to her which detailed her alleged attempt to steal eight government vehicles while she was in the employ of the government of Guyana between July 2014 and June 2015.
The court heard that the vehicles were being transferred to different persons including the former Minister herself and her spouse.
At first she was not required to enter a plea to the indictable charges but after the Police Prosecutor indicated that it was preferable for the case to be tried at the Magistrates Court level, the charges were put again to Westford as she agreed with the request to have the matter heard before the Magistrates Court.
As the four charges were read slowly to the former Minister, she affirmed her innocence by declaring “not guilty” on each of the four charges when asked by the Magistrate. Her voice appeared broken as she spoke in a soft tone while standing in the prisoners’ dock.
The former Minister was represented by five attorneys including another former Minister and official of the People’s Progressive Party, Bibi Shadick.
Westford was granted a total bail of $800,000 on the four charges after her attorneys requested that court be lenient. As she was transferred to the holding cell, a smiling but visibly shaken Westford whipped out her mobile phone to answer a call. She remained in the detention area until her bail was granted.
The former Personnel Officer for the same Public Service Ministry appeared in court just after Westford but she faced forgery with intend to defraud charges. She was also read a total of four charges. The woman, Margaret Cummings appeared before the court in a black business suit and proclaimed her innocence with regard to her alleged forgery of documents for the transfer of the eight government vehicles to private owners. She was granted bail amounting to $1.2 million on the four charges.
As she headed out of the courtroom for the detention area, the woman pulled out her dark glasses as media cameras flashed photographs.
Both women are expected to reappear in court for the start of their trials on the 10th August, 2015. They will be appearing before another magistrate.