By Marion Ali
A decision is expected to be made shortly on how the state will proceed legally against former Government Minister Rene Montero, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Cheryl-lynn Vidal indicated to the Reporter newspaper this week.
The DPP explained that she is currently working on the case file after Police provided additional material last week that she had requested.
The file was initially forwarded to the DPP for perusal and instruction in February but she had given directives for additional research and material evidence in order for her to be able to direct the Police on how to proceed with the case.
When she is finished with the file, Vidal will determine whether Montero is to be charged in connection with allegations of corruption and wrongdoing while he held office as the Minister of Works under the Dean Barrow administration. Allegations were also made against former CEO at the Ministry Errol Gentle.
Prime Minister Hon John Briceño said on Wednesday that anyone who, after an investigation suggests they were involved in actual wrongdoing, will be prosecuted. He said that Government will also pass the unjust enrichment, assets recovery and whistleblowers protection legislation. He said Government will also set up a new Integrity Commission with more resources to do more in-depth investigation.
Montero has been accused of abusing his authority, misusing the Government’s resources and employees for his personal gains. Gentle is accused of facilitating these actions – an allegation that he has vehemently denied to this newspaper. Montero is also accused of several land schemes, using ordinary folk to carry out transactions that benefited himself, his family and cronies.