Former DSG to challenge dismissal in court

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…says all her cases had to go through AG

Former Deputy Solicitor (DSG) General Prithima Kissoon has hit back at Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams, over claims that she neglected to provide him with her submissions prior to representing the state.

According to the lawyer, all her cases in fact had to go through the senior counsel himself.

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

Kissoon, who released a statement in response to Williams’  missive that accused her of professional misconduct when representing the state, argued that she has never neglected to provide the Attorney General with her submissions prior to representing the state.

“Every submission which I have prepared and subsequently presented to any court first had to be submitted to the Attorney General for his consideration well in advance in all matters involving the state.”

She added that it was Williams who instructed staff to stop receiving her draft submissions, and as a consequence she began emailing them to him in advance.

According to Kissoon, the basis for her termination by the Public Service Commission (PSC) was her leaving the country while on administrative leave.

“I have never, prior to commencement of Court proceedings instituted by me against the Attorney General, been accused by the Attorney General or the Public Service Commission of lack of professionalism or dereliction of duty. There is no such charge pending anywhere in the Republic of Guyana. If the Attorney General now finds fault with my submissions, dear Brutus, the error lies not in the stars, but in (us),” she stated, adding a Shakespearean quote.

On Friday, the Attorney General’s Chambers had issued a statement defending its decision to see Kissoon ousted. The Legal Affairs Ministry confirmed that the former Deputy Solicitor-General was targeted in an investigation that lasted from November 2015 to January 2017.

“The Ministry contends that the breaches include improper preparation and drafting of legal documents; disobeying instructions; failing to attend court in several critical matters; gross dishonesty in official dealings; improper conduct, and dereliction of duties. Minister Williams blames Kissoon for not being present in court for key cases, as well as misleading him and others over the matters.”

Meanwhile, the termination of her employment at the hands of both the Legal Affairs Ministry and the now expired Public Service Commission (PSC) is not the end of the road, as Kissoon is planning to take her fight to the courts.

The attorney-at-law, in an interview with this publication, said she had already prepared an appeal to the Public Service Appellate Tribunal. The tribunal is composed of retired Justice Nandram Kissoon, Attorney Abiola Wong-Innis and Winston Brown.

“I’ve already prepared an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal, but the Registrar was only sworn in on Thursday. So those documents are already prepared and signed off,” the former DSG told this publication.

According to Kissoon, the appeal will be filed against Attorney-General Basil Williams, the Permanent Secretary of the Legal Affairs Ministry, and the Public Service Commission.

“The Order of Certiorari to quash the decision of the Public Service Commission will be filed (in the High Court) next week,” she related.

Kissoon broke her silence this week as the very public spat between the Attorney General and her came to a crossroads on August 31, 2017.

Lamenting the situation, the now former DSG in her now public statement, said, “A new PSC will convene and the complaint against the Attorney General, Mr Basil Williams S.C., will never have been addressed.”

According to Kissoon, “My good name has been filched, my character assassinated, my career that I worked so hard to build in the public service for the past 10 years (lies) shattered at my feet, but my integrity and ethics are rock solid.”

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