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Justice Colin Williams, a former DIrector of Public Prosecutions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (iWN file photo)
Justice Colin Williams, a former DIrector of Public Prosecutions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (iWN file photo)

Two months after his appointment as a judge in Belize was announced in that Central American CARICOM nation, Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, quietly left St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday to take up his new post.

The Ralph Gonsalves administration has made no announcement about Williams’ departure from the post, which he has held since 2003.

iWitness News was reliably informed that at least one of the nation’s magistrates has refused the offer to become the nation’s chief prosecutor, a constitutional post that some legal minds consider to be the most powerful in the nation.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, announced Williams’ appointment as a judge at the Jan. 8 ceremonial opening of the court.

He said that during the course of 2017, formal notification of financial support was received from the Ministry of Finance of budgetary support for the engagement of two temporary judges for the Criminal Division for a period of one year to deal with the backlog of cases.

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“In furtherance of this most welcome accommodation, His Excellency, the Governor General, has appointed Mr. Colin Williams, the current Director of Public Prosecutions of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a Justice of the Supreme Court,” Benjamin said.

“Mr. Williams has been a practicing attorney since 1999 and the DPP since 2003 up to the present. He will ascend the Bench in March 2018,” the chief justice of Belize said.

It is not immediately clear who is in charge of prosecutions at the Office of the DPP, since Colin John was not replaced as Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions after he returned to the police force as acting Deputy Commissioner of Police in August 2016.

He was promoted to acting Commissioner of Police after the January 2018 retirement of Renold Hadaway.

Williams was appointed acting DPP in 2003 amidst strong objections by some members of the legal fraternity and supporters of the main opposition New Democratic Party.

Among their objections, they noted that Williams had been a spokesperson for the Unity Labour Party, and had been a partner in the law firm of the party’s leader, Prime Minister Gonsalves, whose ULP administration had come to office two years earlier.

Williams replaced Trinidadian Roger Gaspard who was removed as SVG’s chief prosecutor in 2003, sometime after then Minister of National Security, Sir Vincent Beache, criticised his handling of a criminal prosecution and suggested that he would be dismissed.

15 replies on “DPP quietly leaves office to become judge in Belize”

  1. VINCY LAWYER… this is your chance to advocate for your man magistrate Mr Burnette . Being that he’s all about changing the way things are done and cleaning up the judicial system in SVG.

      1. Sometimes change is better accomplished on a lower level especially when working in a public service. Look at teaching for example, teachers reach and empower students better than principals or administrators because they are in direct contact with them more often than others.

  2. Ricardo Francis says:

    There is something very fishy and troubling about this new development.

    Belize of all the places in the world.

    Are there some developments in the DPP office that may require some political batting and Coilin Williams is not willing to deliver the score?

    Are there not qualified lawyers in Belize with judicial experiences?

    Is there something in the Belize judiciary that requires the political persuasion of Colin Williams?

    Colin Williams, I hope that Milton Cato is not rolling in his grave. I understand that you are related. COLIN, you have been there since the merger of the MNU and Labour party. Hey, Ralph is your pal.

    Now the question is simple: who is going to get this job? ISIS Gonsalves??

    Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP have created a cesspool of political feces in St.. Vincent and the Grenadines. Clearly, there is something rotten in the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    Ricardo Francis. Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  3. Patrick Ferrari says:

    The way this man choreographed the Union Island soap powder fiasco, a fiasco on its own, he should go quietly … everywhere. And he seems to be doing that now.

    Five deaths came to nothing. Not even a completed coroner’s inquest; only a sham of one. Was that by his orchestration? Or from somewhere else? Whichever, you are telling me now that he is going to be a judge? Holy shit.

    Five people died, and I will never forget his chuckle when he blithely wrote it off as curious that the killings was over soap powder.

    Figure out why Abdon Whyte abandoned his call for a coroner’s inquest into his father’s death then maybe you can use that answer to work out if the other four came to nothing by the DPP’s hand or from another’s. Here is a choice – one of many:

    The man can be a judge all he/they want, but he’s no Adrian Saunders. You are welcome to his Lordship, Justice Colin Williams, the Soap Powder judge.

    You cannot hear the justice-to-be chuckle here, you can if you have synesthesia like me, but at least you can read it.

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