Basil Williams says Ministers should sue PPP MPs for libel
Attorney General Basil Williams Thursday said the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarians who brought charges against Government ministers should be sued for libel.
Charges were filed against Ministers Volda Lawrence, Dr George Norton, Winston Jordan, David Patterson and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine for misconduct in public office in relation to various issues.
But the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), upon the request of the Minister of Legal Affairs, discontinued the charges against Ministers Lawrence and Norton. The DPP advised that there should have been a police investigation into the cases before criminal charges were filed. The DPP is expected to decide similarly in the case of the other three ministers.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference today, Williams said if the DPP’s decision does not dissuade the PPP from fulfilling its promise to bring more charges, then certainly lawsuits will follow.
“I know when they have to pay millions of dollars for these malicious charges…libel and malicious prosecution, that would be sufficient dissuasion…Because they have no grounds for looking at sitting ministers and bringing such malicious charges,” the Attorney General stated.
Williams said the individual ministers would have to determine whether they will be seeking legal advice on whether to sue Parliamentarians Juan Edghill and Vickram Bharat who were listed as the informants in the cases.
“They’ll have to take lawyers to defend their reputations (but) I would want to ask you if someone sullies your reputation as a reporter, what would you do? You know what I do, you know like to talk to y’all in courts,” he said.
Minister Lawrence, who was accused of public misconduct for her role in authorizing a sole-sourcing of a $605M drug purchase, told News Room that she is speaking to her lawyers on the issue.
Dr Norton, who was accused of public misconduct for authorizing the rental of the Sussex Street Drug Bond, told News Room that he “has a ministry to run” and is not interested in getting involved in such “low” politics.