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…. challenges the VP to reveal his assets as well as his earnings
Aubrey Norton – Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – on Tuesday, challenged Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo to make public his earnings and assets to invalidate allegations of corruption leveled against him – allegations that Norton also believes should be thoroughly investigated by the Guyana Police Force.
In a wide ranging interview with US-based Vice News, Jagdeo admitted to being a close associate to a Chinese lobbyist identified as “Su” – a man who allegedly fingered him in a corruption ring that involves the receipt of money, in other words, bribery, in return for preferential treatment and the security of contracts for Chinese investors.
Jagdeo, during the interview, washed his hands clean of the allegations of corruption but Norton, during a press conference on Tuesday, said “Jagdeo is not known for being in the corner of truth.”
“The People’s Progressive Party has had a history of extreme corruption, even while Vice President Jagdeo was the elected Head of the Government. Now that he is the de facto head, one can understand the continuation. Now it is expected that he will say no to these allegations,” Norton told reporters.
He said to disprove the allegations of bribery and corruption leveled against him, Jagdeo must weigh his earnings against his assets for all to see.
“He can take his assets put it against his earnings,” the PNCR Leader urged while noting that only then the Vice President can establish that his wealth is above board.
“… 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,” Norton added.
Though skeptical, the PNCR Leader also called on the Guyana Police Force to investigate the allegations of corruption against the Vice President.
“It is law enforcement responsibility to when allegations of this nature are made, they should investigate. The question of whether the Government will allow them to investigate should not arise, because, constitutionally, they are the Guyana Police Force, they are the law enforcement agency, and … it should be allowed to investigate and say to the Guyanese public what the reality is,” he reasoned.
He added: “Unfortunately, the reality in Guyana is that the People’s Progressive Party never allows the agencies that are responsible for oversight and for anti-corruption activities, they have never allowed them to function, so there is little hope that the police will be allowed to do their job.”
In the Vice News interview, the Vice President said his foreign accounts were investigated by the A Partnership National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Administration but Norton said he has no knowledge of such investigation. He, however, maintained that Jagdeo, in the interest of transparency and accountability must make his earnings, assets and foreign accounts public.
“… if he wants to disprove the allegation then he can make these bank accounts that he is talking about open to the public,” Norton iterated.