…fired after collecting $50,000The Appeal Court of Guyana has upheld the dismissal of a Policeman who received marching orders after he had been embroiled in accepting a $50,000 bribe more than 15 years ago.The Appeal Court of GuyanaThe decision was returned by Justices Dawn Gregory, Rishi Persaud and acting Justice Dr Arif Bulkan. They upheld the May 7, 2013 decision of High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds, who ruled that the June 15, 2002 dismissal of Police Corporal Patrick Austin was fair.Austin was dismissed via letter signed by then Police Commissioner Floyd McDonald. By disciplinary action, the ex-Police Corporal was found guilty of receiving the bribe. Austin was the subordinate officer-in-charge of the Licensing and Certifying Office in Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast back then.According to the case file, the Police Force had received an anonymous concerned citizen’s letter in January 2001, claiming that Austin had solicited a bribe in regard to a driver’s licence in the year 2000. Investigations later revealed that Austin had obtained $50,000 from Abdul Khan to secure two driver’s licences for Abdool Wazim Kamal and Abdool Aswezeem Kamal.The ex-corporal implicated in the illegal act was informed of the investigation in November 2001. During an inquiry which was held, Abdool Kamal testified that Policeman Austin had solicited a bribe from him in the sum of $25,000 to obtain a driver’s licence for his son, Abdool A. Kamal.He said the money was paid to the appellant, Austin, by his nephew Shazad, also noting that he gave Austin a further $25,000 to pay for another driver’s licence. The man was cross-examined by the Police rank, and the witness denied that he was being untruthful.Further, Abdool Wazim Kamal also testified that his father Abdool Kamal had given Shazad $25,000 to pay Austin to obtain a driver’s licence. Kamal outlined that he obtained a driver’s licence for a motorcycle without taking the required written examination.Meanwhile, Abdool Aswazeem Kamal outlined that his father Abdool Kamal gave him $25,000, and he gave this sum to Shazad. Abdool Aswazeem said he also obtained a driver’s licence without taking the required examination.Shazad Ali stated that he collected a total of $50,000 from Abdool Kamal, which he paid to Austin at the Anna Regina Police Station in a wrapped parcel. Ali said Austin checked the money in his presence. He, however, claimed he did not know for what purpose the money had been paid.Court documents also disclosed the testimony of Inspector Deane, who was attached to the Office of Professional Responsibility. He said that, after receiving instructions, he contacted the four witnesses, and thereafter sought legal advice.Inspector Deane detailed that when he checked the licensing book, he found that Corporal Austin had issued two driver’s licences to persons whose addresses were listed in Georgetown.After the conclusion of the inquiry, Austin objected to the Force’s dismissal, and he took his case to the High Court. However, after Justice Reynolds ruled against him, he then filed proceedings in the Appellate Court. However, according to the Appellate Justices, while there may have been procedural lapses in the conduct of the investigation, the purpose of the Police Discipline Act was exercised in Austin’s matter.The Appeal Court therefore affirmed Justice Reynolds’s May 2013 decision. Attorney-at-law Roysdale Forde appeared for the Appellant, while State Counsel Judy Stuart-Adonis appeared for the Respondent, the Commissioner of Police.