Jagdeo says charges against Singh, Brassington aimed at damaging reputations
One day after top former Government officials made court appearances, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has accused the Government of damaging reputations instead of fighting actual corruption.
Former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of the Privatisation Unit, Winston Brassington were charged with three counts of misconduct in public office because they authorised the sale of lands without conducting a proper valuation of the properties.
However, the PPP General Secretary at his weekly press conference Wednesday afternoon said this is not corruption.
“[They] have been charged, not for finding a single cent in their account that they didn’t earn… much less the millions that they said they stole, not for that, but for ‘misconduct in public office’ because they did not do a valuation of some properties that they sold even after public tendering which establishes the market value,” the Opposition Leader posited.
Jagdeo said it is a similar matter with the charges against the Board Members of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) where the charge is about the failure to record a transaction in the ledger.
“Six times or so the Magistrate has directed the Prosecutor to make available to the defense, the audit report on which they based the charges and SOCU has refused to present that report in spite of the instructions,” Jagdeo recalled.
As such, the Opposition Leader is convinced that the Government is not serious about fighting corruption.
According to Jagdeo, based on the charges filed so far, the Government is bent on fulfilling its political promise by damaging reputations.
“This was never about corruption, never about fighting corruption, this is about damaging reputations to say to some of their supporters, look we are fulfilling what we promised so whether you have evidence of not, let’s pursue it,” he stated.
The Opposition Leader contended that if these charges are the standards being used to measure corruption and good conduct in public office, then the PPP can identify cases of greater magnitude against current Government officials.