Businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh dies

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh

BUSINESSMAN Ishwar Galbaransingh has died.

On January 29, a message purportedly from his wife Cheryl said he “passed away peacefully today after a four-year fight with cancer.

“You all know him as a fighter but the battle ended today.”

His death was also confirmed by one of his former attorneys.

Galbaransingh has been fighting to clear his name for over two decades in what was considered the biggest and longest corruption trial in Trinidad and Tobago’s history after he and several others, including former ministers and the late former prime minister Basdeo Panday faced allegations of corruption, bid-rigging, kickbacks, bid inflation, political interference and fraud arising from the plagued $1.6 billion Piarco International Airport expansion project back in 1996. Panday died on January 1.

In 2023, Galbaransingh said the corruption cases had destroyed his family and took a toll on him.

His comments came after Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, discontinued one of the corruption cases against him, Panday, Mrs Oma Panday and former minister Carlos John.

There were three remaining cases against him. At the time, he said he expected the DPP to discontinue those cases as well since “there was never any evidence of any wrongdoing in the airport project.”

He maintained it was a politically-based persecution of him and the others for the past 18 years.

In total, there were four related cases, none of which have gone to trial.

On June 29, DPP Roger Gaspard, SC, said it had been his public position that “taking Piarco I to trial would have been oppressive if not legally nettlesome while the other matters related to the airport project were in train, bearing in mind that there were common accused in both sets of matters.”

Instead, he said, “A joint trial of the allegations in Piarco No I and those arising from those other matters was desirable.”

Two days earlier, the Privy Council held that a complaint by the accused, including Galbaransingh, charged in Piarco I of apparent bias against then Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls was sufficient to strike down their committal to stand trial before a judge and jury.

Gaspard said he now has to consider the future of the case.

Galbaransingh vowed to continue the fight to clear his name.