AG abusing legal process, unlawfully using State resources – Nandlall
Attorney General Basil Williams is abusing the legal system while at the same time “unlawfully” using State funds and resources in relation to the recent court action filed challenging the validity of former Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud’s vote on the no-confidence resolution since he has dual citizenship as well as an impending challenge on the 33 votes that were used to pass the motion tabled by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
This is according to former Attorney General Anil Nandlall. In a statement posted on his Facebook page on Sunday evening, Nandlall made reference to an article published in a local newspaper on Sunday.
According to Nandlall, the article quotes the Attorney General as disclosing that the court challenge to the no-confidence motion is fixed for January 15, for hearing. He said that Williams is further quoted as saying that “the Government’s case would be two-fold – Persaud’s alleged disqualification from voting given his Canadian citizenship and that 34, rather than 33 votes, constitutes the majority required for the no-confidence motion to pass”.
In the article, Nandlall said, Williams further explained that the staff of the Attorney General Chambers were involved in Senior Counsel Rex McKay’s preparations of the dual citizenship aspect of the case. He added that with regard to whether 34 or 33 votes constitutes a majority, Williams is quoted as saying “Obviously, we are gonna file in relation to that. Whether I file as Attorney General or a citizen files or the AFC files or the PNC files, we’ll see.” He further noted that the article goes on to say that, “He insisted that it doesn’t matter who files the case…”
Against this backdrop, the former Attorney General pointed out that it was common knowledge that the case filed questioning Persaud’s qualification to sit in the National Assembly was filed by a private citizen, Compton Herbert Reid. Nandlall outlined that Reid was not part of the Government of Guyana and has sued the Speaker of the National Assembly, Charrandas Persaud and the Attorney General.
“So, the Attorney General [Basil Williams] has disclosed to all the world that the Attorney General/Government is the driving force behind the case filed by Compton Reid (who is, merely, a nominal Applicant); that the Attorney General/Government has used Public Officers and State resources in assisting in the preparation of this case; and I have no doubt that the Attorney General/Government is using public funds to retain the lawyers, who have filed the case,” Nandlall asserted.
He further contended that the Attorney General is using public funds and Officers from the Attorney General Chambers to prepare and file a case against himself. However, according to the former AG, it does not end there, since Williams has signalled his intention to repeat this in a second case to be filed soon.
Nandlall said that this time, AG Williams plans to do even worse since he mentioned that it does not matter who files the case, whether it is the Alliance For Change (AFC), the minority party in the coalition Government; the People’s National Congress (PNC), the leading party in the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU); the Attorney General, or a private citizen.
“Presumably, again, he will use public funds, public resources and Public Officers to fund and prepare a case, which will be filed by his political party or its coalition partner or by a private citizen against himself! One will note that it is clear that the Attorney General is blissfully unaware of the several transgressions to which he has confessed, including the most vulgar misuse of public funds, public resources and Public Officers. He recognises no distinction between political party and Government. He ignores, completely, the abuse to which he is subjecting the legal process,” Nandlall posited.
He went on to say that there is no doubt that the Attorney General either planned to consent to judgement or not defend these “incestuous litigations” funded by taxpayers’ dollars. In fact, the former Attorney General questioned how his successor could defend these cases “conscientiously” since, after all by his own admission, he has caused them to be filed and contributed to their preparation.
“Not only is this an unlawful use of public funds and public resources, but this strikes at the heart of every ethical principle known to the legal profession and it reduces our legal system and indeed, our constitutional democracy, to nothing but an abysmal circus,” Nandlall declared.
According to the former AG, the country has finally descended to its lowest and must be the undisputed laughing stock of the Commonwealth.