[www.inewsguyana.com] – Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI) says it supports the position taken by the Guyana Human Rights Association, Guyana Bar Association, Guyana Association of Women Lawyers and the Guyana Press Association and unequivocally calls for the resignation or removal from public office of the Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.
The TIGI in a statement noted that the contents of the recorded telephone conversation between the AG and a senior journalist are as shocking as they are revealing.
“That conversation has thrown up a deeply disturbing array of issues that concern at a minimum, unethical behaviour and integrity in public office, and at worst, multiple illegalities on the part of the Attorney General and the government. In his vulgar tirade, the AG displayed an appalling disregard for the administration of justice, women, journalists, freedom of the press and the rule of law. His revelations of personal financial impropriety and tacit approbation of impending extra-judicial sanction against the government’s perceived opponents bring the legal profession as a whole, of which he is the supposed leader, to an unprecedented low. It is yet another blow to a justice system that has facilitated, under the current administration, impunity for high-ranking officials, and even the appointment of an appellate judge while under investigation in another country. But even by these low standards, Nandalall’s conduct has brought his office into disrepute and he should immediately resign,” the statement noted.
According to TIGI, in the interest of transparency and accountability, the government should make public, information on how much money was borrowed by the AG from public funds, by what legal mechanism this facility exists, and what category of persons are entitled.
“This scandal once again underscores the need for transparency and accountability in government and the urgent need for a functioning Integrity Commission with independent and impartial Commissioners. In fact, given the AG’s boast that he retired from private practice at age 38 as a result of his accumulation of wealth, TIGI hopes that both the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Integrity Commission’s Secretariat are in possession of appropriate and accurate returns and declarations that reflect the AG’s incomes and assets.”
“The AG’s admissions and apparent knowledge of planned criminal activity require independent investigation, which should not be covered up because of his office. For these reasons TIGI urges the government to abandon its hasty defence of the AG on the basis of non-existent privacy laws, and instead ensure that his revelations of financial impropriety and other abuses of his office are immediately investigated and prosecuted if necessary. In this regard, the government would do well to remember the Privy Council’s memorable caution that the ‘maintenance of public confidence in the administration of justice requires that it be, and be seen to be, even-handed.’”