Lawyers representing former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are still locked in discussions over whether his and former Opposition senator Gerald Ramdeen’s corruption case should be filed in the High Court without a preliminary inquiry.

When the case came up for virtual hearing before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle, yesterday morning, Ramlogan’s lawyer Russell Warner and Assistant DPP George Busby requested an adjournment to allow negotiations between the parties to continue.

Attorney Wayne Sturge, who is leading Ramdeen’s legal team, said that they were not part of the discussions but were awaiting the outcome.

The case was eventually adjourned to February 28, when the parties are expected to announce whether the indictments would be filed in the High Court or if and when the preliminary inquiry would commence before Busby-Earle-Caddle.

The proposal on how to proceed with the duo’s case was made before Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi recently announced plans to abolish preliminary inquiries by January.

Such inquiries before magistrates would be replaced by sufficiency hearings before High Court Masters, who are expected to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial at a quicker rate than in an inquiry, which usually takes several months or over a year to complete.

The charges against Ramlogan, and Ramdeen arose out of an investigation into almost $1 billion in legal fees which was paid to private legal practitioners, who represented the State and State companies in legal proceedings during Ramlogan’s tenure between 2010 and 2015.

The lawsuits dealt with corruption that allegedly occurred under former prime minister Patrick Manning.

Ramlogan, Ramdeen, and Jamaica-born British Queen’s Counsel Vincent Nelson were charged with conspiring together to receive, conceal and transfer criminal property namely the rewards given to Ramlogan by Nelson for being appointed to represent the State in several cases; of conspiring together to corruptly give Ramlogan a percentage of the funds and of conspiring with to make Ramlogan misbehave in public office by receiving the funds.

Shortly after being charged, Nelson entered into a plea agreement with the DPP’s Office in exchange for his testimony against Ramlogan and Ramdeen.