Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who is a party in the court matter against suspended Public Service Commission Chairman Carvil Duncan, has formally requested that the Judge in the matter, Justice Franklyn Holder, recuses himself from further hearing the case.
The Prime Minister’s request was made on May 4th, and comes just three days before the matter is set to begin.
Nagamootoo is a respondent in the matter and believes the well publicized fall out between the Judge and the Attorney General, who is representing the state’s interest, could result in a hearing that is not fair.
The Judge had written to the Chancellor of the Judiciary complaining about the behaviour of the Attorney General in his courtroom. He has declared that he will not sit through the case any further or any other case involving the Attorney General until he apologises for his behaviour in the courtroom.
He wants that apology in open court. The Attorney General has not indicated any intention to offer any such apology.
The Prime Minister in his letter to the Attorney General, which was copied to the Chancellor and Chief Justice, said he is of the opinion that he would be prejudiced in the suit because his attorney is being barred from being heard in the matter.
“In view of the foregoing, therefore, I authorize you to request that the Honourable Mr. Justice Holder recuse himself from further hearing in the matter”, he said.
He listed three main reasons why he believes the Judge should recuse himself from the matter.
“The Judge had the power to handle the alleged incident between himself and the State’s Attorney General, amicably in court instead of retiring to his Chambers without the formal rising of the Court”, the Prime Minister wrote.
He also pointed to the Judge’s letter to the Chancellor requesting an apology from the Attorney General in open court before the matter be allowed to continue. Additionally, Mr. Nagamootoo pointed to the forwarding of that request to the President who is also a party in the matter.
Former Attorney General, Anil Nandall, who is representing the interests of Carvil Duncan in the matter, believes that the request by the Prime Minister through the Attorney General, may be an attempt by the government to insert political pressure on the Judiciary. He believes the request should not be entertained.