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SOCU’s Special Prosecutor, Patrice HenryAttorney Glenn HanomanFormer Attorney General Anil NandlallLaw books fiascoAttorney-at-law Glenn Hanoman, representing former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, has defended his client’s absence during a recent trial hearing at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.When the matter was called up on Thursday last, neither Nandlall nor his attorney were present, and, as such, Special Prosecutor assigned to the case, Patrice Henry, successfully requested the court to send a notice to the defendant.He also informed that if the defendant fails to attend court at the next hearing, a warrant would be issued for his arrest.However, in a statement on Friday, Attorney Hanoman posited that his and his client’s absence during the recent hearing was not deliberate. In fact, the lawyer noted that they were just simply unaware that the matter was fixed for that day.“I was shocked by two headlines in the (media)… Both articles accurately reported that neither I nor my client, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, were present when the relevant matter was called before Her Worship Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on June 6, 2019. I wish to make it clear that the absence of my client and (me was) neither deliberate nor due to any form of inadvertence,” Hanoman stated in the missive.He explained that, from the inception, the case was and is being heard in Court V, but the presiding Magistrate is currently assigned responsibilities in the East Demerara Magisterial District, and would return to the City court to deal with incomplete pending cases, including this case.According to the lawyer, this matter was called up on April 5 before Magistrate Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court V, where both he and his client were present. On that date, the matter was then adjourned to May 24 at 13:30h at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court V.When he turned up at court on that day however, Hanoman said, neither the Magistrate nor the Prosecutor was present. Upon enquiry, he was informed by her clerk that the Magistrate would not be attending court on that day, and that he is unaware of the next date when the Magistrate would be in attendance, but that he would so inform the defendant’s counsel (Hanoman) when he is in receipt of that information.“I left the court and so informed my client. I never received any further information from the clerk, as promised. Therefore, neither I, nor my client, were informed that the matter was fixed to be heard by the learned Magistrate on June 6, 2019, hence our absence.”Further, Attorney Hanoman posited that “It is extraordinarily worrying, not only how the matter became fixed for hearing on June 6, 2019, but also how the Prosecutor knew of this date, when he was not present on the last date the matter was scheduled to be called, that is, on May 24, 2019.”Moreover, the lawyer went on to point out that he was present in Court V all day on Friday to attend other cases. However, he noted that in both the morning and afternoon sessions, Magistrate Faith Mc Gusty, and not Magistrate Azore, presided in that court.“After reading the newspaper articles…and upon enquiries, I was informed that sometime between 13:00h – 13:30h on June 6, 2019, the matter was called in Georgetown Magistrates’ Court III, another courtroom, with only the Magistrate and the Prosecutor present. I have secured a copy of the case jacket and there is no endorsement thereon that the matter was adjourned from May 24, 2019 to June 6, 2019,” the lawyer noted.On this note, Hanoman then questioned how and when the June 6 date was fixed; and further, how did the Prosecutor, and even the press, become aware of this date, the precise time and the new Courtroom in which the matter would be called?“These apparent oddities will be interrogated and examined closer at a later stage. It is unfortunate that the learned Prosecutor signalled an intent to resort to the draconian recourse of seeking an arrest warrant for my client on the next occasion when he is so familiar with the whereabouts of both my client and I, who are both officially located less than a stone’s throw away from the Court, and with whom he interacts on a regular basis. I will refrain from attributing to him an improper motive,” the attorney posited in this missive.The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is accusing Nandlall of stealing some 14 Commonwealth law books, worth $2.3 million, from the State.However, Nandlall had explained that when he was appointed Attorney General, he requested, as part of his contract of service, for the Government of Guyana to stand the expense for his subscriptions for the Commonwealth law books. He had subscribed to Lexis Nexis, the publishers of the law reports.His contentions were corroborated publicly by then President Donald Ramotar.Despite this, however, in April 2017, Nandlall was arraigned at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Magistrate Azore on the charge instituted by members of SOCU.Nandlall continues to maintain that the accusation laid against him by SOCU was instigated by his successor, Attorney General Basil Williams, because he [Nandlall] continues to criticise his [Williams’s] performance.