Norton to Jagdeo: ‘Match your earnings with your assets’

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 February 2022, 16:47 by Writer

Mr. Aubrey Norton Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo

Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton on Tuesday urged Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo to disclose his earnings and assets, including foreign bank accounts, to disprove corruption allegations, in the wake of his denials that he does not take bribes from Chinese investors.

“If he wants to disprove the allegation, then he can make these bank accounts that he is talking about open to the public,” Mr. Norton told a news conference on Tuesday. Mr. Jagdeo said in the interview he granted a journalist from the United States-based Vice News in January that the David Granger-led government had investigated him, including his foreign bank accounts, for investigations, but Mr. Norton said he was unaware of such a probe.

Though Mr. Jagdeo has been saying that he and other People’s Progressive Party (PPP) lawmakers have been submitting declarations to the Integrity Commission, Mr. Norton has again challenged him to prove his wealth based on his earnings. “It is expected that he will say ‘no’ to these allegations but I have long thrown out an option for the Vice President. He can take his assets, put it against his earnings in the way normal citizens have to do to get loans from the bank etc. and if he does that and can establish that the wealth he has is above board and not in contravention of law then that will help to put these allegations to sleep,” he said.

Allegations of corruption against Mr. Jagdeo have resurfaced overnight after he posted the interview in which he fended off questions as “hearsay” about one Mr. Su being a lobbyist who allegedly served as a middleman to secure infrastructural project by obtaining bribes from Chinese companies.

The PNCR Leader urged the Guyana Police Force to investigate allegations of corruption and “report to the Guyanese people” and take legal action if there is evidence.”

Mr. Jagdeo, while in opposition, had been questioned by the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) but the now disbanded government-controlled State Assets Recovery Unit (SARA) had filed a civil lawsuit against him and several others in connection with the acquisition of land at Goedverwagting-Sparendaam.

That case was not heard when Granger lost power in 2020 and SARA was scrapped.