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Jagdeo to Norton: “My assets and income are matching”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, 20:40 by Denis Chabrol

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday night dismissed calls by People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, Aubrey Norton that he should disclose his assets and income to prove that he is not corrupt.

“My assets and income are matching,” he told a media briefing to deal with the fallout from an interview with the United States-based Vice News.

Charging that the Vice News reporter interviewed him  with a “predetermined agenda” and “inherent biases” , Mr Jagdeo said the PNCR Leader did not understand the process for the declaration of assets.

Mr. Jagdeo, who released the interview on his Facebook page Monday night days after it had been conducted, insisted on Tuesday night that there was no proof that he ever tool a bribe. “They would never ever find anyone who can say or have any evidence that I took a bribe directly or indirectly,” he said. “There will be no evidence, there can be no evidence because it never happened,” he added.

Reacting to Mr Norton’s call for Mr Jagdeo to match his earnings with his assets, the Vice President recalled that from 1999 to 2015,  government officials and Cabinet officials had  submitted records of income and assets.

Noting that the penalty is one year imprisonment for false or no declaration,  Mr. Jagdeo said for the first three years, APNU +AFC did not submit any declaration. He said he had already submitted his declaration to the Integrity Commission for 2020 and 2021.

Mr Jagdeo described as “shameful” that Mr Norton had such a sordid record because they had failed to make a declaration to the Integrity Commission.

On the issue of having foreign bank accounts,  the Vice President said that he had none but he was aware that the David Granger-led administration had investigated him.  “The fact is that I do not have a foreign bank account,” he said. He added that he had two accounts at two local bank accounts and “all of my source of income can be accounted for.”

Mr . Jagdeo said that his assets included government pension, rental, all assets acquired have been done through the banking system. Mr. Jagdeo said the PNCR Leader could not state categorically that his parliamentarians were not compliant. “He cannot speak with such clarity or surety about his party,” he said.

“I’m really sure that Mr Norton did nor going through this issue because he is new,” he said.

The Vice President said the only foreign asset he had was a now sold apartment in New York.