GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 31, 2017 (CMC) – A High Court judge says, he is not prepared to sit to hear Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, “in any matter whatsoever, unless he makes a genuine and meaningful apology, to my satisfaction, in open Court”, following an incident, earlier this month.
Williams, a Senior Counsel, told reporters, earlier this week, that he is prepared to work with Justice Franklin Holder to resolve the issue that occurred on March 23.
Justice Holder had written to the Acting Chancellor, Madam Justice Yvonette Cummings-Edwards, explaining the incident that occurred in the Court room, during a case involving Carvil Duncan.
In the letter, a copy of which has been made public in the media here, Justice Holder said the incident occurred during the cross examination of a witness.
In giving his side as to what transpired in the courtroom, Justice Holder said, “I recognise Mr. Williams’ behaviour, as I have related, to be insulting, disrespectful, and calculated to scandalise and lower the authority of the Court, in the face of the Court.
“Mr. Williams’ behaviour was highly contemptuous and deserving of him being cited for contempt in the face of the Court. Instead of doing so, at that moment, I chose to leave the Bench.
“However, it does not mean that Mr. Williams’ behaviour should go unattended. He is not only a Senior Counsel, he is also the Attorney General and leader of the Bar. His behaviour begs the question, whether he is respectful and aware of the functions and duties that attend these offices,” Judge Holder said.
The judge wrote, “I am not prepared to sit to hear Mr Williams as an Attorney-at-Law in any matter whatsoever, unless he makes a genuine and meaningful apology to my satisfaction, in open Court, both to me and to the Members of the Bar, since they too were scandalized by his despicable conduct.”
But earlier this week, speaking at a prize-giving ceremony, Williams said, “I, in fact, have to write a statement in response to that (Judge Holder’s letter to the Chancellor) and I have three witnesses, statements from the ladies that were a part of the team.
“However, as I said, we can’t allow Nandlall to create this problem, and we leave it unresolved, the Judge and I will resolve the issue,” Williams said.
Williams blamed his predecessor, Anil Nandlall, for causing the problem in the courtroom.