Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is seeking approximately $125M in damages from Attorney General, Basil Williams for “slander”, in relation to the Commonwealth Law Reports which Williams repeatedly claimed Nandlall stole.
The Former AG is also seeking an injunction restraining Williams “by himself, his servants and/or agents from publishing, or caused to be published or saying or caused to be said or repeating of and concerning the Claimant, the offending statements in relation to the Commonwealth Law Reports.”
Nandlall is seeking damages in excess of $25M for slander published on the 24th day of March, 2017, at a press conference hosted at the National Communication Network Inc.; damages in excess of $25M for libel published on the same day; damages in excess of $25M for libel published in the Guyana Times Newspaper, at page 11, March 25th, 2017; damages in excess of $25M for slander published during an outreach program in Berbice, on the 26th March, 2017; damages in excess $25M for libel published by Demerarawaves on the 27th day of March, 2017; exemplary/aggravated damages and interest on all damages awarded pursuant to Section 12 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Chap 6:02.
The Press Conference on March 24, 2017, was hosted by Williams to clear his name in relation to comments later deemed “disrespectful” to a High Court Judge on March 23, 2017.
Outlined in the Court documents are comments made by the current AG including “Mr. Nandalall will be charged for missing law books…Mr. Nandalall has stolen government property and he will be charged…”, “Nandalall stole government property…the law books…he still has the law books and he will get lock up for the law books and anyone who claim they gave him permission to steal the law books will get lock up as well because there is no immunity for stealing and doing criminal acts in this country.”
Nandlall said the words are “false, malicious and defamatory.”
Nandlall began subscribing to Lexis Nexis (U.K.), publishers of the Commonwealth Law Reports sometime in 2003 and has stated that the arrangement is that individual Law Reports are shipped to him, along with an invoice, which is paid by himself upon receipt of each Report.
However, it was noted that the Government paid for the law books during his tenure as Minister of Legal Affairs, “as a condition of his service.” The number paid for by the Government amounted to 14.
According to Nandlall, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs was fully briefed on the facts and circumstances surrounding the purchase of the aforesaid books, when he took over the Ministry in 2015. However, he said the Minister went ahead and launch an audit into the acquisition of the law books.
The injunction application will be heard before the Chambers Judge on the 17th May 2017.
Williams has 28 days to file a Defence to the Claim filed.