“Though there are immunities, there are certain exceptions” – Harmon on Jagdeo’s immunity
The Government is confident that the investments into building the capacities of the various arms of the Guyana Police Force (G.P.F.) will ensure that when they bring cases before the court, “they will stick”.
This was related by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, when asked about the ongoing investigation into the acquisition of plots of land at Sparendaam on the East Coast of Demerara, referred to as Pradoville 2, by Former Government Officials and associates.
During the ongoing investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo said he invoked presidential immunity when questioned by investigators.
Asked for the Government’s view on this matter, Harmon said even though there are immunities, there are certain exceptions because “you cannot commit an egregious type of act- which is something that an International Court or anybody can deem to be as such- and still believe that nothing will happen.”
Harmon also calls Jagdeo’s move into question, given that he currently serves as Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and was also recently elected as General Secretary of his party.
He further noted that the framers of Article 182 of the Constitution did not prepare for a situation which currently exists in Guyana. Expounding on this, he said the expectation of the framers was that a President once he leaves office, would have a more “quiet sedate life”, but the situation in Guyana is different as “you have people who had been in office as President and now in the National Assembly.”
In this regard, he questioned, “How could you now claim those immunities while you are now actively engaged in day-to-day politics?”
He pointed to the female South Korean President, Park Geun-Hye who was removed from office on Friday. Ms. Park, 65, faces prosecutors seeking to charge her with bribery, extortion and abuse of power in connection with allegations of conspiring to collect tens of millions of dollars in bribes.
The intimation was made (March 10, 2017) today by Government’s principal spokesman, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.