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SUNDAY SPECIAL US$20M FRAUD SCHEME…EZJET BOSS BACK IN COURT

Sonny Ramdeo Founder of EZjet Air Services, Sonny Ramdeo, who was arrested two Tuesdays ago (December 11) in Brooklyn, New York, while on the run was set to attend court Monday for a bail hearing. Ramdeo, facing fraud charges for allegedly stealing US$20M from a US hospital chain, remained in the custody of federal authorities after an initial court appearance on Wednesday, December 12, before Magistrate Judge Vera

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Scanlon, hours after his arrest by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, through his lawyer, Kannan Sundaram, he immediately moved for bail. According to court documents filed, the 35-yearold executive waived his right to an identity hearing and preliminary examinations by the court. It would mean that the former Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara resident, who was based in Florida, has signalled his intentions to fight the fraud charges in Florida courts. The bail hearing was set for a Brooklyn, New York court Monday morning. INTERNAL “HOUSE CLEANING” RECOMMENDED FOR NIS AT PUBLIC MEETING In a public meeting held at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) recently, concerned citizens invited to share their queries and opinions on the financially struggling state company, said that one major factor for renovating the NIS is an “internal cleansing of the institution.” The meeting centred on

the way forward for the scheme since it had been recently highlighted that within a short number of years, the NIS would reportedly go broke. Apart from the numerous external issues that the participants had said were plaguing the scheme, they noted that there had to be very essential internal fixtures which would assist the firms refreshment; especially in the “easily additive” area of corruption. They noted that some of these issues were the work conditions and political interference. MONDAY EDITION GOVT. SHOULD STOP ‘RUNAROUND’ AND ENGAGE OPPOSITION - AFC The Alliance for Change (AFC) has rejected government claims that the opposition was abusing its one-seat majority, describing it as absurd and ludicrous. The party scoffed at the Government’s approach to the Organization of American States (OAS), with the complaint that “the opposition is destabilizing Parliamentary proceedings”.

DEAD: 43-year-old Deaplall Muakelall The AFC opined that the Government’s action is an attempt at regaining full control of the State, and thus urged the current administration to “stop running around and engage the opposition”. The AFC’s leader, Khemraj Ramjattan opined that, “the attempts by the Government to engage international bodies will get nowhere.” He posited that the Government must realize that they must engage the Opposition and other stakeholders in a “magnanimous climate” so that meaningful discussions could be held. He however indicated that such talks would serve no purpose if the Government continues to seek total control. CHAINSAW OPERATOR CRUSHED BY TREE A father of five died Sunday after being pinned by the tree he was cutting in the Clonbrook Polder, East Coast Demerara. According to reports, 43 year-old Deaplall Muakelall of 13 Section ‘B’ Clonbrook, East Coast Demerara died while villagers tried to remove sections of a fallen tree which had pinned him down after he had cut it with his chainsaw. Kuakelall is survived by his wife and their five children. TUESDAY EDITION HOUSE VOTES: NO MORE TAX DOLLARS FOR MARRIOTT UNLESS… The National Assembly last evening voted that taxpayers’ money should stop going into the Marriott Hotel project unless first approved by the National Assembly. Further, the House also voted that all revenue in the account of the government’s investment arm, NICIL, should be deposited into the Consolidated Fund, from which any spending would first have to get the approval of the House. But the government is not expected to abide by the ruling of the Assembly; it is sticking doggedly to the project, and disagreeing that the

Sunday December 23 , 2012

Claudeene Rampersaud spending is illegal. That position, however, may not be the end of the game for the seven-seat Alliance for Change (AFC), which signaled its intention to argue its case before the courts. While defending the need of the project, the government is refusing to make public the studies which show that the project would succeed. Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh said that the economic, feasibility and environmental impact assessments would be made known to the opposition parties if they accept an invitation to meet at the Office of the President. But the opposition argued that the information should not be provided behind a closed door. Rather, it should be made public in the National Assembly for the public to know. AFC Parliamentarian Khemraj Ramjattan said that the money would be best spent on infrastructure projects that are badly needed, instead of the Marriott project which to him, is designed to satisfy just a few. DENAMSTELWIFE KILLER SENTENCE TO DEATH Dwayne Jordan, who axed his reputed wife, Claudine Rampersaud, to death back in 2007, was Monday

Dwayne Jordan sentenced to death. A moment of silence was observed after the presiding Judge, Justice Navindra Singh, announced that the accused would be hanged until dead. Monday was reserved for Justice Singh’s ruling to be made at the Supreme Court. The accused was a week ago found guilty of murdering his wife and mother of his four children by a 12-member jury. On June 14, 2007 at Clay Brick Road, Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara, Jordan hacked his wife to death using a knife and a hatchet. The reason? Rumours reportedly going around the village that the woman was having an affair. Rampersaud was a Special Constable attached to the Vreed-en Hoop Police Station at the time of her death. The prosecution, which was led by State prosecutor Konyo Thompson in association with Renita Singh, had proved their case that Jordan was indeed the perpetrator of the heinous crime. Defence Attorney Nigel Hughes had asked that the accused be able to make a plea of mitigation given the recent 2010 amendment that the death penalty is no longer mandatory. He then referred to the recent case of Lennox Boyce in Barbados, where the (Continued on page 40)

The distraught mother of two of the three children

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