Last Updated on Sunday, 7 May 2017, 0:14 by Denis Chabrol
Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall Saturday night called on the judiciary not to bow to political pressure by assigning a case to another judge because Attorney General, Basil Williams does not want to apologise to High Court Judge, Franklin Holder.
“In short, they now want to choose their own judge to hear their own case. A classic exhibition of authoritarianism. This strikes at the heart of the doctrine of separation of powers,” Nandlall said in response to a release of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s petition to Williams.
Nandlall warned that if the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonette Cummings-Edwards gives into Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s petition through Williams on the grounds that there would not be a fair hearing by Justice Holder, public confidence may be eroded.
“My only hope is that the judiciary will not disappoint the people of this country and will stand firm like the rock of Gibraltar and will maintain its independence and its dignity. If it does not, the hemorrhage of public confidence which will flow may be irreparable,” said Nandlall who is representing Carville Duncan in a legal challenge to his removal from the Public, Judicial and Police Service Commissions because of outstanding fraud charges against him at the time.
The Prime Minister indicated strongly that the Attorney General would not be apologising to Justice Franklyn Holder when the case resumes on Monday, May 8, 2017. “I am of the opinion that I would be prejudiced in the suit because my attorney is being barred from being heard in the matter.”
It was Justice Holder who has already stated that he would not be prepared to sit to hear Mr. Williams as an Attorney-at-Law in any matter whatsoever, “unless he makes a genuine and meaningful apology to my satisfaction, in open Court, both to me and to the Members of the Bar, since they too were scandalized by his despicable conduct.”
Nandlall observed that the judge opted to write to Williams’ superior, lodging a complaint against the Attorney General’s conduct and rightfully asserted that he will not hear the Attorney General unless he apologizes for his despicable conduct. The AG, whose ego is larger than the administration of justice, decides that he will not apologize.
The former Minister of Legal Affairs described the Prime Minister’s letter as “nothing short of the most comical and clumsy conspiracy hatched between the AG and the Prime Minister to avoid the AG apologizing to Justice Franklyn Holder.
Labelling the Attorney General “an abnormal package,” Nandlall called the Attorney General’s expressions an “uneducated outburst to a High Court judge, disgraced himself, the high office which he holds as Attorney General and Head of the Bar, the entire legal profession and the administration of justice by “his outrageous utterances which are well documented and need no recitation.”
The Prime Minister’s request that the case be heard by another Judge was made on the grounds that the judge had the power to handle the alleged incident between himself and the State’s Attorney General amicably in Court instead of retiring to his Chambers without the formal rising of the Court, the petition to Madame Chancellor required the State’s Attorney General to compulsorily apologise in open court before the Court’s continuation of the State’s matter and forwarding by the Honourable Chancellor of the petition aforesaid to the President who is a party to the Suit.
However, Attorney-at-Law Nandlall insisted that his successor was contemptuous of the court, while at the same time he credited Justice Holder with exercising commendable restraint and magnanimously exited the bench, rather than cite the AG for contempt and call upon him to show cause why he should not be imprisoned.
“It is that factual matrix which produces this bizarre letter which seeks to convert the judge, who is the victim of the abuse, into a villain! This can happen in no civilized country where is there is rule of law a system of democracy.” he said.