Responding to criticism of his performance as Attorney General, Senior Counsel Basil Williams on Monday brushed aside the criticism, saying that under his leadership the AG’s Chamber has won more cases than it has lost.
Mr. Williams said while his Chamber has lost a few cases over the last two years, many of the cases, which he anticipate will be in his favor, are yet to receive judgment.
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has been an unyielding critic of Williams’ work as Attorney General.
Williams used Monday’s press conference to respond to Nandlall and the People’s Progressive Party. He boasted that the Chamber is performing better than it had under Nandlall’s leadership.
In defending the larger budgetary allocations for the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General Chambers, Williams said there is much to show for what has been accomplished.
He singled out the hosting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s 46th Plenary and Working Group Meeting and the Hague Convention Conference of 2016.
Labelling the achievements as unprecedented, Williams reminded of the adoption of the Apostille and other Conventions, moves to reduce high concentrations of prison populations and the US-funded Legal Aid pilot project along with the passage of several Bills in the National Assembly that addresses financing of terrorism, money laundering, and state asset recovery.
Williams explained that any attempt to measure his success by the cases he has lost is a narrow minded aspect of looking at the work of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
The Attorney said when he assumed office, the Ministry was dysfunctional and there was division among staff and departments.
“Files couldn’t be found… he [Nandlall] ran this place like a cook shop,” Williams said, while pointing out that’s some of the cases which received judgment under his watch were actually initiated and defended by Nandlall.
“What I have achieved is unprecedented. Np other AG has accomplished these things. What we see is here is embracing vagabonds and criticising the upright.”
The Attorney General also rejected claims that the government has settled cases for kickbacks and favours.