By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo refused to accept or deny that the purchasers of plots of prime land at Sparendaam, (Pradoville Two Scheme) had received sweetheart deals. The politician was asked specifically if, setting aside allegations of massive corruption, he was willing to admit that such deals were offered to a selected few.
The Opposition Leader went all over the place with his answers. In fact, he touched on at least six other corruption-related issues in response to the question, but failed to give a direct yes or no answer to the question posed to him. In the end, Jagdeo settled by saying that he would leave it for the courts to decide if affiliates of the People Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) benefited from any special deal.
This was at a press conference Jagdeo hosted at his Church Street Office yesterday.
During his opening statement, Jagdeo referenced an article published in yesterday’s edition of the Kaieteur News about former PPP/C government officials that are to be charged. These include former Minister of Finance, Ashni Singh and former Director of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington.
Jagdeo said that the case that is being made about corruption is baseless.
He was then asked whether he was at least willing to concede that the Pradoville land owners benefitted from a good deal.
The politician avoided giving a direct answer. Instead, he said, “A lot of these matters will be dealt with in the court, I do not even want to comment on the charges etc. This government is vindictive.”
He said that the government is forced to be vindictive because of all the “baseless” claims it made about the narco-economy and about billions stolen. Jagdeo said that despite all of the allegations about money stolen, the government still cannot come out with evidence.
“If you ask them about the evidence, you are going to hear that ‘oh, we are working on something’… they are not working on anything!”
Still not giving an answer to the question posed, Jagdeo said, “We have heard about the underground economy; well, it does exist. It exists in Washington, it exists in Norway, you have people who sometimes avoid taxes, you have some transactions not recorded etc., and that will continue long after APNU leaves and the PPP returns”.
Going on to another issue, and still not answering the question, Jagdeo asked, “Remember the billions they said we stashed abroad? We offered a way to get the evidence for these billons. Contact Interpol, get a specialized agency, trace the billons and then take action against the villains. But we are not hearing about that, because we have asked for them to trace the assets of everyone, former as well as current officials.”
Jagdeo then said that the government is just dangling the Pradoville issue “to give the red meat to some supporters that they are going after corruption, but where is the evidence of the claims that there is massive corruption? We have not seen a single person charged for billions, we heard a former PS had billions in his account, where is that story?
Before ending what was supposed to be his response to a straightforward question, Jagdeo went on to note his concern that “guilt is determined by the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) and the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) in their public statements long before the investigations take place”.
Oct 22, 2018The 2018 IBF Antilles 3×3 Under-18 basketball tournament concluded at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) last night where double defending champions, Martinique, were usurped by the lads from...
I have long argued that PPP leaders will never apologize for any depravity done while that party was in power from 1957... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]