Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo confirmed this afternoon that he received a civil suit from the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) for his Pradoville Two Mansion and, at a press conference held at his Church Street Office, Jagdeo said that he and his lawyers are responding to the matter.

Jagdeo said, “The people of SARA, the head, [Dr. Clive Thomas] is not appointed properly and that Act, as I said before, is unconstitutional. We will deal with it; it is a routine matter for me.”

Asked to say if other PPP-connected officials have been served similar papers, the PPP General Secretary said he was not sure. He noted, however, that what is playing out is simply a political issue.

Jagdeo said, “I recall SARA saying that they are working on some big cases above US$10M. By the third quarter of last year, they were going to file some big cases for recovery. So far, we have not seen a single case. SOCU [Special Organized Crime Unit] has not charged a single drug dealer, has not launched a single case against a money launderer.”

The Opposition Leader continued, “They have not recovered a cent from anybody…Pradoville is the only case after we spent $600M or $700M on hiring the geriatric cabal at SARA. They are all politicians. Eric Phillips as an advisor, Clive Thomas [as the Head]; [Aubrey] Heath-Retemyer [SARA’s CEO], are all political appointees not technical people.”

He added, “As I said before, if I was not living there, none of the other people would have had any trouble.”

Jagdeo also confirmed to the inquiring media that he had no intention of entering into a settlement for the property with SARA. But when challenged for his reasons for doing so, the Opposition Leader appeared livid.

Leading all the questions on the SARA issue, was President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA), Nazima Raghubir. When Raghubir pressed Jagdeo to reveal his reasons, he said, “That is my position.”

Unfazed by the indirectness of the former President, Raghubir challenged him again. A seemingly agitated Jagdeo responded, “…I do not have (a) basis. What kind of stupid question is that?… I said it is political. You have to use deductive reasoning if it is a political thing. I get impatient with silly questions.”

The GPA President made it clear that her question logical question, that she was only seeking clarification while adding, “I get impatient with silly statements.”

At this point, Jagdeo finally explained, “If it is a political matter, it’s an adventure. Why would I waste my time behind an adventure which is a political matter? That is the reason I rejected it.”


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