Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams sought to discredit his predecessor, Anil Nandlall.
Williams hosted apress conference at his Carmichael Street Office on Wednesday and noted that Nandlall left a broken and divided office, characterized by two warring camps, the latter because he had taken from the DPP’s Chambers a Counsel whom he elevated to the rank of Deputy Solicitor General, paying her a salary over a million dollars a month, with allowances in the AG’s Chambers. The Counsel is Ms. Prithima Kissoon. The Solicitor General was Ms. Sita Ramlal.
He stated that Nandlall left the new Government with crippling judgment debts, and ill-prepared cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars. And outsourced cases to private lawyers without leaving any trace in the AG’s Chambers, and those lawyers failed to inform or hand over those cases to the new Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, as in the Dipcon
The AG noted that he inherited judgment debt cases from the PPP/C Government including: –
- Rudisha Beverages -V- AG – 7.2 Billion dollars (GC).
- NH International L.T.D; Emile Elias-V- AG $11M USD plus $403M (GC).
- Toolsie Persaud Ltd-V- AG-$1.7B (GC)
- Ministry of Communities—V-BK Int.-$5.7M USD
- NDIA –V- H.Sugrim-$226.1M (GC)
In the Rudisha Case the PPP/C Government had imposed an environmental tax on non-returnable beverage containers in breach of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, he said.
The CCJ noted that the Government of Guyana represented by Nandlall did not lead evidence to show that tax was transferred as he claimed.
In the NH INT, Emile Elias case involving a contract to build a road, which ended up at an Adjudication which in 2003, the PPP/C Government, allowed to proceed without any representation, leaving Mr. Rex Mc Kay S.C alone to argue NHEE’s case before the Adjudicator, he said.
He also noted that the problem was confounded by appealing the matter to the CCJ through Attorney-at-Law Mr. Roysdale Forde, on a point where the Government had appealed to the wrong Court.
In the BK INT matter, on assuming office AG Williams was told Nandlall had taken a decision to pay BK $225 million dollars for services rendered despite repeated breaches by BK of the Haags Bosch Contract.
In addition, the court ruled in favor of BK who had sued the Government for breach of contract, holding that he was entitled to remain on site.
The AG said that the government refused to pay that sum and caused an appeal to be filed against this decision and, due to the site being consumed by smoke which affected neighboring Communities, and IDB wanted BK off, a settlement was agreed between BK and his team, Minister of Communities and his team and the AG Williams and his team. Cabinet gave its seal of approval.