Do as I say; or else…
The shadow of the former PNC regime looms over Guyana’s judiciary, as it does over the entire country.
Only those who lived through the PNC era of terror could visualize the ramifications of the implied and very real threat to members of Guyana’s judiciary by erstwhile Attorney-General, Basil Williams.
The professionalism of the Chief Justice (Ag) was underestimated by AG Basil Williams when he uttered the implied threat “we put she deh, she gat to rule fu we”, intimating that because the PNC-led government was instrumental in her appointment she would in turn abdicate her professional responsibilities to her mandate in favour of loyalty to the government that appointed her. Her impartial decisions in court anent Red House and other issues have allayed the concerns of all those who were fearful that she would have been influenced by the considerations as adumbrated by the Attorney-General.
Judges should be considered above the fray and not subjected to the accusations, hostile voice tonalities and/or threats by anyone while adjudicating on a matter being tried before him/her in a court of law; as was experienced by Justice Holder as he presided over a matter filed against the State by the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, a member of the Judicial Service Commission and a member of the Police Service Commission – unconscionable acts that so unsettled Justice Holder that he walked immediately off the bench without adjourning the proceedings.
Given the fact that Mr. Basil Williams, in his position as Attorney-General, is the guardian of the law in Guyana and should act with absolute circumspection within this mandate, he should be called upon to account for his utterances and unwarranted attack on Justice Holder.
His outburst to Justice Holder, which is being justifiably construed as a threat on the Judge’s life, should immediately be addressed by the President, if the current government is to hang on to any shred of credibility.
In any other democracy an Attorney-General who issues a death-threat to a sitting Judge would be removed from his office forthwith.
We are watching closely and carefully, since other parties were present in the courtroom and witnessed this infamous altercation on that fateful day.
The nation awaits the outcome of this travesty being played out in the justice system in Guyana.
BISHOP JUAN EDGHILL