Prithima Kissoon sent on administrative leave – AG

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Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Kissoon has been sent on three months administrative leave, pending a review of all the cases she represented the State on, according to Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams.

Attorney General Basil Williams SC, and Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Kissoon

The AG told reporters at a press conference on Friday that based upon advice sought from the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Deputy Solicitor General was sent on 72 days leave by the Permanent Secretary of the Legal Affairs Ministry to facilitate a review of the cases she was involved in.

The probe into cases which Deputy Solicitor General Kissoon was involved in, stemmed from a recent ruling handed by the Court of Appeal, dismissing a State-sponsored appeal against a High Court decision that quashed a private criminal charge against Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.

The Appeal Court ruled that the appeal was null after Kissoon had conceded to a claim by Jagdeo’s lawyer that the Attorney General was not a proper party to the proceeding.

AG Williams had since blamed Kissoon for the outcome of the case.

However, although he has blamed Kissoon for the case, Solicitor General Sita Ramlall, in a letter to the Editor, pointed out that Williams had insisted to Kissoon and herself, that he be named as the Plaintiff in the appeal when he was not a party.

Kissoon has since alleged that she has been subjected to abuse from the AG and filed a formal complaint with the Public Service Commission, outlining among other things, that the AG had been frustrating her office by refusing to cooperate with her on several cases, while at the same time publicly questioning her performance.

She also claimed that Williams, who was recently made a Senior Counsel by President David Granger, instructed his assistants to refuse to accept any documents or correspondence from her.

However, Williams, who subsequently responded to the complaint in a public statement, told reporters on Friday that the Deputy Solicitor General’s complaint was dismissed by the Commission.

“The PS has informed me she has received communications from the PSC… The communication rejected the application by Ms Kissoon, which she purported to complain against the Attorney General. I don’t think they entertained that,” he stated.

This publication was unable to independently verify the AG’s claim that the PSC dismissed Kissoon’s complaint.

The Attorney General had come in for much criticism over the past week for his attacks on Kissoon, with commentators bashing the manner in which he dealt with the matter.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Editor published in local newspapers on Friday, the Deputy Solicitor General’s father, prominent Attorney Jailall Kissoon, pointed out that this is the first time in legal history that an AG has levelled such a blast of terror and fear upon the Judiciary or his own legal officer.

“The fallout from this scurrilous blast has radiated its tremulous fear through the spinal cord of the entire body of the Judiciary in Guyana and elsewhere,” he pointed out.

According to the senior Kissoon, there are recorded documents in court to support that the ruling against the State-sponsored appeal was a pure stream of justice was flowing uninterruptedly, that is, until it was polluted by the Attorney General in an article published in the State-owned Guyana Chronicle newspaper.

“Your prejudiced perception is that the Chancellor, together with applicant Bharrat Jagdeo, his Attorney at Law, Mr (Mursaline) Bacchus and the Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Kissoon, all of common ethnicity caused the Attorney General and the Editor to fall in the dark mud of malice and partiality that Jagdeo must receive the benefit from the court unjustly. But the law does not recognise skin colour, the law is the law,” the Attorney penned.

He went on to say that, “the Attorney General, who has such legal wisdom and foresight, ought to have seen the unholy conspiracy of the Bench and Bar and should have appeared in person, as Leader of the Bar, filed his Affidavit in Answer, argued his case as a legal luminary and Eminent Counsel and crushed the Applicant’s case to smithereens.” (Guyana Times)

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