Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan. (File photo)
Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan. (File photo)

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.

5 replies on “AG doesn’t have to give interviews — PM”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    The only reason that SVG has so much press freedom is that the country’s journalists, with the exception of Kenton X. Chance and perhaps one or two others, are too stupid, lazy, or scared to ask tough questions of the government or do any probing investigation of controversial issues. In short, there is no reason for the State to clamp down on the media because there is so little to clamp down on. Remember how outraged the PM was when the British media was in his face and ready to expose the Harlequin fiasco, something that no one here would dare to do, except well after the fact.

    1. The AG don’t speak but she can vote for the speaker and she is said to be a Civilian Servant. Talk about Press Freedom, the majority of Journalist are The Comrade YES MAN, who is afraid to challenge his comments and action. as far as I can see only the Comrade got the right to speak, what a Country, but they say time longer than twine.

  2. “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.

    You see that’s the issue with Dr Ralph, he keep forgetting his job and always want to find loopholes and ways to avoid giving proper answer. Before what court, what are you talking about? the Registrar was fired and is in the process of being disbarred, so what are you going to court for? sounds to me like you all already have all the information on ready, and the court is just used as a tool to avoid answering questions.

    Dr. Ralph you might have gotten away before, but you have pushed the envelope too many times […]. To much corruption under your watch. I can’t wait to see you in handcuffs because you believe Vincentians are fools. You just wait eh.

  3. It is so true not one in any position is SVG have to give any interview no one is responsibility nor is anyone accountable in this place they are all gods unto themselves the public have no say or right to know but “we like it so “.

  4. Peter Binose says:

    I personally believe that freedom of the press has been destroyed by this administration in several ways, I will give you just five.

    1/ One of the top regime members hires people to come on the internet and spread untrue stories, at the same time denying the truth that anyone should dare to write. There is a complete machinery in place that suppresses the truth.

    3/ It is alleged that many of the letters to the press and internet media come from PM Gonsalves, in other peoples names. If this is true is that not in its self a perversion of process and an attack on the press.

    2/ Journalists have been treated so badly in interviews that they are frightened to ask pertinent questions. They are in many cases terrified to face the onslaught and the belittlement meted out to them publicly. They are made to feel and look unpatriotic.

    3/ Newspapers are frightened to ask and frightened to print, lest they lose government advertising.

    4/ Only one person speaks for everyone, everybody, every department, no one is allowed to give press interviews except the PM. That in its self is a reverse situation that limits the information that the press can obtain. That is a scientific attack on the press.

    5/ Journalists are taken on trips abroad where they are supposedly to cover government events. When in fact they are being given the carrot and stick treatment. Be a good boy and we will take you on our ‘jolly ups’. Fail to toe the line and you can sit in the cupboard, no information and no stories, no false information tip offs.

    There is no need to further control the press because as far as the regime is concerned, they are totally under control already. And in some cases running frightened.

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