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Chief-of-Staff wins High Court cases against soldiers

Chief Justice Ian Chang has vindicated the actions of Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best in relation to three recent matters which were brought before him, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) said in a statement.

The Chief Justice discharged Writs which were filed by four Officers who challenged the COS’ non-payment of their year-end bonus. The officers had filed a Writ of Certiorari, which stated that the withholding of bonus by the COS was unlawful and unreasonable, and a Writ of Mandamus, directing the COS to pay the bonus.

The Chief Justice has discharged both Writs and ruled that they did not have a reasonable expectation of receiving the bonus since the Officers were aware of disciplinary infractions. The Chief Justice also ruled that the COS was acting on behalf of the President when he withheld the bonus. As such, the Officers actions against the Chief of Staff was misconceived because it was an action of Prerogative Writ against the President which is not allowed in law.

In the matter of an Officer who filed a Writ of Prohibition seeking right to counsel at a Summary of Evidence proceedings against him, the Chief Justice has ruled that the Summary of Evidence proceeding is merely an investigative and not an adjudicative proceeding and, as such, the Officer has no right to counsel.

In the matter of relinquishment of the appointments of three officers who had sued for their year end bonus, the Chief Justice discharged that matter in favour of the Chief of Staff ruling that the action should have been brought against the entire Defence Board and not only the Chief of Staff.

The Chief of Staff was represented by the Hon Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr Anil Nandlall and the Deputy Solicitor General, Ms Pritima Kissoon.