Khan: Investigate Chief Justice for impeachment

Date: 
Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:30

Attorney Israel Khan said he plans to write to Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard to determine whether Chief Justice Ivor Archie acted improperly and whether there are grounds for him to be impeached.

This follows claims by former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar that her removal as a High Court judge was “unlawful and unconstitutional” because she was put under pressure to resign.

She said so in a May 19 tell-all letter to President Anthony Carmona.

The Sunday Guardian obtained a copy of the letter to Carmona as well as another sent to the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC).

In the letter, the first that gives Ayers-Caesar’s side of the story, she said it was with a “deep sense of regret and personal disquiet” that she was recounting the circumstances surrounding her resignation.

Khan said this latest development should trigger an investigation into the behaviour of the CJ.

“She indicated to him that she had at least 28 part heard matters and he decided inspite of that to recommend to the President that she become a judge,” Khan said.

“It is only when the faeces hit the fan—after the prisoners started to protest and the lawyers started to protest that she left unfinished business—it is only then he decided to find out how many matters were pending and then he decided to use her as a scapegoat for his lack of due diligence, mismanagement and forced this lady to resign.”

Khan said as far as he is concerned Ayers-Caesar is a judge in the High Court until the President revokes her appointment which has not been done.

“What is curious to find out is whether the Chief justice informed the other members of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission that the former chief magistrate had 28 part heard matters because all of them would have put their signatures to the document that she be appointed.

“So they ought to have a full investigation to see whether he misbehaved in public office and if that is so, that will trigger an investigation in order for impeachment,” he said.

Martin Daly SC disagreed that Ayers-Caesar remains a judge.

“Once the resignation letter has not been set aside by a court, I don’t accept that she is a High Court judge. I think the resignation would be effective,” he said.

“And I don’t accept she has any powers as a magistrate.

“She took the oath as High Court judge and by implication that revokes her appointment as a magistrate, so unfortunately I don’t think she has any particular judicial status at the moment,” Daly said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said he would not comment on the matter.

SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Geisha Alonzo)

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