Racial division charge against Jagdeo dismissed

Last Updated on Friday, 11 December 2015, 23:58 by GxMedia

FLASH BACK: Bharrat Jagdeo standing in the dock of the Whim Magistrates’ Court.

High Court Judge, Navindra Singh Friday dismissed a private criminal charge of uttering racially divisive remarks against former President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Singh ruling in effect is that there was insufficient evidence provided by  Attorney-at-Law, Christopher Ram to support the charge.

Attorney General, Basil Williams said if Ram wants he could file a fresh charge against Jagdeo, now Opposition Leader, for the allegedly offensive remarks he had uttered in March, 2015 at Babu John, Port Mourant.

The event was a commemorative event for late Presidents Cheddi and Janet Jagan, in the run-up to the May 11, 2015 general elections.

The private criminal charge was first heard at the Whim Magistrates’ Court, but Jagdeo’s lawyer, Mursalene Bacchus, moved to the High Court to challenge the charge.

If the case had been heard and Jagdeo had been convicted, he could  have been fined GUY$100,000 and jailed for two years. The Representation of the People Act also says that a guilty person would be barred from being a member of the National Assembly, local democratic organ or the holder of any constitutional or statutory office.

Ram, also a well-known political commentator and critic of Jagdeo’s People’s Progressive Party, had quoted Jagdeo as saying then that “The opposition consistently shout about the racism of the PPP but they practice racism. The opposition beat drums at six in the morning and say let us throw out those coolie people.”

Jagdeo had prior to the charge stressed that his remarks had been taken out of context and that he had also said that his party did not tolerate such acts and would expel anyone who spout such remarks.