Former housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal was in the Port of Spain High Court for the hearing of the lawsuit filed by the Estate Management and Business Development Company (EMBD) against him, four people and three companies.
Moonilal and the others are accused of engaging in an elaborate scheme of bid-rigging, bribery and collusion which led to hundreds of millions of dollars being disbursed to five contractors just before the 2015 general election.
In May 2018, SpotlightTT shed light on the details of the EMBD Lawsuit, read story here: EMBD Lawsuit
Presiding over the EMBD’s lawsuit is Justice James Aboud, who is also hearing a consolidated case in which three companies have sued the state-owned company for unpaid contracts.
Leading the case for the EMBD is Queen’s Counsel David Phillips, while Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Lynette Maharaj and Anand Ramlogan are leading the case for Moonilal, the former EMBD executives and the companies.
At yesterday’s hearing, submissions on preliminary issues were advanced by both teams.
The lawsuit is against Moonilal; former EMBD chief executive Gary Parmassar; former divisional manager at EMBD Madhoo Balroop; Andrew Walker; and companies Fides Ltd; Namalco Construction; and LCB Contractors.
In November, a statement from the Office of the Attorney General said the lawsuit concerned ten contracts awarded in August 2015 to five contractors for the upgrade and rehabilitation of certain Caroni access roads and two contracts for rehabilitation works.
The five contractors were identified by the ministry as: TN Ramnauth and Company Ltd (TN Ramnauth); Mootilal Ramhit and Sons Contracting Ltd (Ramhit); Kall Company Lted (Kallco); Namalco Construction Services Ltd (Namalco); and Fides Ltd (Fides).