Vice President (VP), Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, confirmed on Thursday afternoon during his press conference that he successfully located Chinese businessman Su Zhi Rhong. Su who was also Jagdeo’s friend and tenant had allegedly admitted to accepting bribes on behalf of the VP in an undercover VICE News probe last year, prompting Jagdeo to file a $50 million lawsuit in July 2022.
When questioned about the update, Vice President Jagdeo confirmed, “Yes, he was served,” revealing that he and his team managed to locate Su Zhi Rhong. Jagdeo added, “Yes, it was filed, and I think it should be heard very soon in court. You can ask the court for the date.”
The controversy unfolded on June 19, 2022, when Vice News published an investigative piece on corruption in Guyana. The undercover reporter, posing as a Chinese businessman, accompanied Su Zhi Rhong to Jagdeo’s home to discuss a Hotel and Casino venture. Jagdeo, however, declined involvement in financial arrangements. He, instead, said that Su Zhi Rhong is his friend, and he gets the support he needs as a businessman.
Before the episode was aired and unaware of the impending exposé, Jagdeo denied taking bribes during an interview with Vice News. The reporter revealed Su Zhi Rhong had named Jagdeo as the official requiring financial appeasement. Despite Su’s assurance that he had not implicated Jagdeo, the subtitled episode suggested otherwise.
In the $50 million lawsuit, Jagdeo’s attorneys, Manoj Narayan and C.V. Satram, argued that Su’s statements in the news broadcast implied criminal conduct on the VP’s part, deeming them “defamatory and slanderous.”
The lawsuit highlighted that owing to the statements made, Jagdeo has suffered public condemnation, humiliation, ridicule, and embarrassment. It was also stated that the statements have caused serious injury to the Vice President’s reputation and his political standing locally and internationally.