Government Minister Marlene McDonald and her husband, Michael Carew will remain in police custody for a third night.
As at 2 pm on Saturday, both McDonald and Carew completed their police interviews but there are no plans to release the two until police complete their interviews of “others” involved in the case.
Guardian Media has been reliably informed that two contractors are among those who have been detained by police and are also expected to be interviewed in connection with the receipt of state funds for three NGOs distributed by a government ministry.
Senior Counsel Pamela Elder, who is representing both McDonald and Carew, in an interview with Guardian Media on Saturday said that she had not yet determined whether she would file any legal action to seek to have her clients released from police custody.
The two were detained for questioning early Thursday and remained in police custody since then.
Asked about the unusual period her clients have been detained without charge, Elder said, “They could hold them for as long as they need to, whether it is legal to or not is another question.”
Elder said she remained in communication with her clients throughout the day and the process.
“We will see what transpires,” she said.
Elder said she expected that the police would go to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard for directions soon.
“I can see no reason for the police to not go to the DPP shortly,” she said.
Elder did not want to speculate on how many others were being questioned alongside McDonald and Carew on this matter.
“I am giving them all the reasonable time,” she said.
Source confirmed that the police will approach the DPP on Sunday for advice on what charges, if any, can be supported by the evidence they have gathered.
Guardian Media has learned though that McDonald’s electronic devices—cellphone and computer—were confiscated and form part of the investigation.
From early on Thursday morning police visited McDonald’s home in Maracas, St Joseph were they carted away several documents as well as a bag.
By Friday fresh information was unearthed and the investigation widened.
It was confirmed to Guardian Media that the investigation relates to the distribution of over a million dollars to three organisations from he Public Administration Ministry to help the needy but the funds were never used for that purpose.
Snr Supt Totaram Dookhie, who was the former head of the Fraud Squad Unit and is now at the helm of the Professional Standards Bureau, led the operation on Thursday.
Police have continued their investigation into the Calabar Foundation matter in which McDonald allegedly arranged for her partner to receive an HDC home in Fidelis Heights, St. Augustine back in 2008.
Police were also investigating concerns raised about nearly $600,000 paid out by the Ministry of Community Development while McDonald led that ministry under the Patrick Manning government.
The Integrity Commission had exonerated McDonald on the Calabar Foundation probe in 2013 then re-opened it in 2015 because of new information. She was again exonerated in 2016, but police continued their investigations.
McDonald was removed from the Cabinet in the middle of the controversy, then re- appointed in 2017. She was swiftly fired after Sea Lots resident Cedric “Burkie” Burke attended her swearing-in ceremony as her invited guest at President’s House unannounced.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has said that he will await the end of the police probe before making any decision on McDonald.