By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney – at – Law Basil Williams, who is representing the interest of his Political Party – the People’s National Congress (PNC) – at the ongoing Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (COI) has accused the Commissions’ Chairman Sir Richard Cheltenham of taking sides.
Williams says he feels he is being interrupted during cross examining witnesses, unfairly by the Chairman.
“I get the impression that you are descending into the arena,” Williams told the Chairman in a very agitated tone, but this statement was quickly rejected by the Chairman who expressed the view that it was propaganda that Williams was peddling.
Williams made comparison to the frequency the other Lawyers were interrupted by the Chairman, stating “I am an experienced lawyer, I know what I’m doing… I don’t see you interrupting the others from Trinidad and Barbados.”
The Chairman maintained that Williams must ensure relevance and get on with his questions, pointing to his persistence on a point even after it has been rejected by the witness, several times.
“Just get ahead,” Cheltenham said frowningly.
On a separate note, Commissioner Jacqueline Samuels Brown was forced to upbraid Williams later in the morning when he accused the Commissioners of coming to the defense of some persons.
“None of us is coming to the defense of anyone, we want all the evidence in so we can arrive at a conclusion, I am sorry but we are not coming to the defense of anyone,” she said, further explaining that Williams’ question was unfair.
The Chairman also intervened and said that he was disappointed that Williams would accuse the Commissioners of interrupting him. He said they are merely making legitimate interventions.
“We must be fair and we will protect all witness… I’m disappointed that you are challenging us.” Williams maintained however that his line of question was fair.