EDITOR, The Tribune
I have read with interest Sean McWeeney’s comments regarding the powers of the Attorney General, published in Tuesday, February 5th’s edition of The Tribune which failed to provide definitive answers, as was my expectation, and which provided the stimulus for the following follow-up questions:
Did the Attorney General, in the person of Allyson Maynard-Gibson, retain all the powers conferred by Article 78 of The Constitution, while out of the jurisdiction on official Government business?
Did the Acting Attorney General, in the person of Jerome Fitzgerald, at the same time, also possess all the powers conferred by Article 78 of The Constitution while The Attorney General, in the person of Allyson Maynard Gibson, was out of the jurisdiction on official Government business?
Would a document and/or agreement signed by the Attorney General, in the person of Allyson Maynard Gibson, on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, while out of the jurisdiction, be valid, if that document and or agreement could only be signed by THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, if at the same time another unrelated document is signed by the Acting Attorney General, in the person of Mr. Jerome Fitzgerald within the Bahamas?
Could both documents be considered having been signed by The Attorney General? Which of the two documents would be considered invalid and of no effect, if the answer is no?
The Constitution states in Article 78 (3) that the power to discontinue a criminal matter is vested in the Attorney General “to the exclusion of any other person or authority” but under Article 78 (2) the AG can give specific or general instructions for any other person to exercise his powers under Article 78. Therefore, the Acting Attorney General can only act with reference to either the general or specific instructions of the substantive Attorney General.
My final question, therefore is:
- If the Acting Attorney General acted “under general or specific instructions” to discontinue a case in which the substantive Attorney General had a conflict of interest, is the substantive Attorney General still responsible for permitting a conflict of interest issue to be resolved by the Nolle Prosequi signed by her Agent, the Acting Attorney General?
AARON KIKI KNOWLES
February 5, 2013.