Syed claims he did classified work in US

| 22/02/2017 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The former president of the University College of the Cayman Islands told the court that he couldn’t talk about the work he had done in the United States because it was classified, as he faced questions from the deputy director of public prosecutions about his CV. Hassan Syed said he had worked in America but said, “It was classified work and I can’t talk about that.” He did, however, talk about his PhD, which he said he acquired in Pakistan, not Canada, along with his master’s degree and other qualifications and professional certifications.

Syed denied that he had submitted a CV which implied he had earned his PhD in Canada and said he had not seen the CV submitted to secure the presidency’s post until the criminal proceedings against him began. He told the court that he was asked by the UCCI’s former president, Sam Basdeo, to apply for the job and all he was asked to do was write a cover letter, but he did not submit a CV as he assumed they used the one they had on file. He said that he had never claimed to have a PhD from Victoria University, as suggested on the CV, and he repeatedly denied creating or submitting the resume for the post of president.

He said that he got his PhD in Pakistan after he took leave in 2004 to go to Canada to defend his thesis, which he did on a VOIP call to Lahore to the management school there, where he said his doctorate was earned. Syed told the court that he went to Canada to do the internet interview on his work because at the time the internet in Cayman was very primitive.

Quizzed about the alleged misuse of cheques and college credit cards, Syed repeatedly stated that he could not remember the details but all of the personal spending as far as he was aware was taken from his salary or he had reimbursed the accountant. It was Kem Singh, he said, who was responsible for doing the accounts.

He said he had no idea what system Singh was using to keep check of what he was spending. He admitted his own negligence in keeping records but claimed that Singh was the one who should have been taking what was owed. He told the court, “I don’t know what Mr Singh was deducting when as he was the accountant.”

Syed said he could not recall or remember any of the spending or why he had written on related documents that a UCCI cheque paid to Tony’s Toys was for the auto mechanics course when it was actually spent on his girlfriend’s car, or another cheque which he admitted was used to buy her bathroom furniture, when a notation on it had said it was for the UCCI bathroom improvements. However, he said he did remember reimbursing the college for his personal spending.

Presented with the massive deficit of his earnings versus his spending over the 20 months, which amounted to around $9,000 per month, while he was president, Syed said he could not recall how the system had worked or when and where cash was being taken for what because he was very busy. Singh, he said, was responsible for the financials. But he said around that time he was also earning a lot of money from his consultancy work with the Civil Service College.

He repeatedly denied forging or changing documents in relation to a more than $7,000 claim for travel expenses for his children visiting him from Canada, though he admitted he was the only person to benefit from the payment, but he said he was not the person who had falsified the documents.

Syed also denied ownership of another copy of his CV, similar to the one submitted for the job as president, but attached to an email that came from his address applying for another position in Canada. This was sent around the same time he had applied for the president’s post. Syed said that he could not recall details, though more than one person had access to the computer.

He told the court he could not speculate over who was forging or falsifying documents or sending emails on his behalf or who it was that was creating incorrect CVs. He said that although he worked in IT he was not a computer expert but there were many scenarios that could involve manipulating documents on a computer.

Repeatedly stating that he could not remember details, as all of this was more than ten years ago, he refused to accept that he was dishonest or had lied about anything.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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