Jagdeo says Granger tapped phones of Volda Lawrence, Harmon, Trotman
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has revealed that the phones of PNC chairman Volda Lawrence, along with that of key campaign handlers Joseph Harmon and Raphael Trotman, were tapped towards the end of the recount period last year on the instructions of then President David Granger.
In an interview with the News Room’s Insider programme, due to be aired Sunday evening, Jagdeo said there was a clear plan to sabotage the recount process, saying that even when the Court of Appeal cleared the way for CARICOM scrutineers to watch over the process, it was “a behind the scene nightmare” to get President Granger to sign the Recount Order.
Jagdeo said it was clear that there were different camps of “unrepentant riggers” operating for the then Coalition APNU+AFC government and they worked to prevent the recount process that would definitively settle the issue of who won the elections.
In the end, the PPP were declared winners of the elections after a five-month delay and the PPP’s candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali, was sworn in as President on August 2.
“We discovered after we got into office that President Granger may not have trusted the leadership of APNU,” Jagdeo said in the interview which was recorded on Friday.
“…he (Granger) got the security forces to tap the phone of Harmon, Trotman and Volda Lawrence.
“So, he was listening to their conversations in that period as we approached the conclusion of the recount.”
Jagdeo said that there were “hundreds of behind the scenes” events that unfolded in direct attempts to prevent a successful conclusion of the recount. Those events, he said, he could not go into, but that “maybe in 20 years” he would.
There were many “heroes” he said who intervened to “fight off” the attempts to derail the process.
“We probably didn’t sleep for 24 hours (some days),” Jagdeo stated.
Jagdeo said though the main concern was the blatant rigging of the results for District Four, he agreed to a national recount after Granger said he had issues with the count in Regions Three, Four and Five.
He said he agreed even in the face of strong disagreement from leaders in his own party.
But he said given the fact that the international community had only the PPP’s Statements of Poll – which were posted on a website – to work with, the national recount was necessary to reveal the vote count in all the boxes and prove without doubt who had won the elections.
If the recount did not take place, then, he said the international community may have only been able to say the vote count was rigged in Region Four, but would not have had any proof to see and say that the PPP had definitely won.
The full extended interview with Mr Jagdeo airs at 19:00 hrs (7 p.m.) on Enetworks Chanel 1, SKAR TV, Tarzee TV in Bartica, and would be streamed on the News Room’s Facebook page.