[www.inewsguyana.com] – In a joint statement issued this morning, the Guyana Bar Association and the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers expressed their concern at the recorded conversation between Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and a senior journalist at the Kaieteur News.
Nandlall, who is also the country’s Legal Affairs Minister, is accused of threatening the lives of the newspaper’s Publisher, Glenn Lall and his staff.
The joint statement called for him to resign or that he is fired.
“The statements made by the Attorney-General point to serious legal and moral infractions on his part having regard to his standing as one of the highest legal officers in our country. In the recording the Honorable Attorney-General offered in vulgar and obscene language, knowledge of actual and planned illegal activities. Even in private conversation the comments are deeply troubling and inappropriate and their candid nature, unbridled by the conventions of public discourse, calls his character and professionalism into question,” the joint statement noted.
The AG has since admitted to the recorded conversation and recently told the Government Information Agency that it was a private conversation that was not meant for the public’s ears.
Hours after the recording went viral, the Guyana government came out in full defence of Nandlall and attacked the newspaper for “illegally recording” him.
“We are most concerned that the Attorney-General appeared to be acknowledging that the use of deadly violence against the media was an acceptable reaction to frustration where public officials and other citizens are offended by what is reported about them. He also referred to making restitution of funds used by him for some purpose which he did not want the press to report about. The President of Guyana is said to have participated in conversations with a defendant in extant criminal prosecution to have same discontinued in return for less critical reporting by her co-defendant. Equally disturbing is his persistent objectification of the unidentified woman, which conduct flies in the face of the Government’s obligations and commitments regarding respect for women,” the statement further noted.
The joint statement called for good judgment to prevail and for the AG to resign.
“Public officials are given wide powers and great responsibility to make thousands of important decisions many of which never see the light of day. We expect in return for the privilege of office, that they demonstrate good character and judgment. Where they demonstrably fail to do so either by public action or by private conduct which bears on their fitness for office, as the Attorney-General has done, such public officials should be removed from office.
“As leader of the Bar, the Attorney General mindful of the honour, dignity and integrity of his office should resign immediately. If he does not resign he should be removed. Any other result would be an endorsement of the Attorney-General’s conduct and an admission by the Executive that the highest moral and legal standards are not applicable to the State.”
A police investigation is currently underway into the alleged threats.