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Lindquist returns for Desalcott probe


Canadian forensic investigator Bob Lindquist and his team of investigators have returned to T&T, to assist in the drafting of criminal charges against public officials who were being investigated for alleged corruption in the multi-million-dollar desalination plant contract.

Investigators confirmed yesterday that Lindquist and his team arrived in the country on Monday night to wrap up the probe, which began back in 2001.

The Desalination Company of T&T (Desalcott) owns the desalination plant.

A spokesman said the Canadian forensic examiners would meet with Director of Public Prosecutions Geoffrey Henderson and members of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau for three days.

Lindquist presented his report of more than 1,000 pages and recommendation to Henderson earlier this month.

The source said Lindquist, Henderson and the other investigators would now examine the file to officially formulate charges against at least three public officials.

He said the file was considered top secret.

The spokesman said at least one former government official could be prosecuted.

The spokesman said contrary to other media reports, only three people had been identified to face bribery and other related charges of corruption arising out of the probe.

The source said Lindquist and his team were expected to leave T&T tomorrow, once the charges had been formulated.

Attorney General John Jeremie hinted in the Senate earlier this month that charges could be be laid against those who were being investigated.

Implying pending corruption charges, Jeremie said that the 20-year-contract award to Desalcott in August 1999 was about to be discontinued because of fraudulent activities.

The desalination contract started in 1999 under the then UNC administration and two years later, Lindquist was called in to investigate allegations of corruption, by then attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj.

The ruling PNM continued the probe when it took office in 2002.

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