Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan does not have to give interviews to anybody, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said this week.
Gonsalves was responding to a newspaper article that reported Jones-Morgan as telling the publication she does not give interviews, when the newspaper contacted her about the May 21 resignation of Registrar of the High Court Tamara Gibson-Marks.
“She is the Attorney General, she doesn’t hold a ministerial portfolio, she doesn’t have to give any interview to anybody,” Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Legal Affairs, told a press conference.
“If anybody has to speak on any matter, it’s the Minister of Legal Affairs, but I will only speak in a manner which is circumspect in relation to any issue which is before the court,” he further said.
The Attorney General has applied to the court for Gibson-Marks to show cause why she should not be suspended or disbarred from practising law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Gonsalves said his government is very open and ranks number two in the Western Hemisphere in terms of freedom of the press, noting that the ranking is second only to St. Lucia.
He further said that the Attorney General, who has been in the post since 2001, is a public servant and not a political appointee.
He further explained that she was appointed by the Governor General on the advise of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, after consultation with the Prime Minister.
“Now the point is this, you have seen her in the House [of Assembly], we have agreed that though she has a right to speak in the House, she doesn’t speak in the House, because I am of the view [that] in these island an over speaking attorney general is not a well-tuned cymbal.”
Gonsalves said that the Attorney General directed the newspaper to his press secretary, Hans King.
I-Witness News understands that the newspaper emailed King but did not receive a response.