…after newspaper falsely publishes that they failed to declare assets
General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo and Presidential Candidate Dr Irfaan Ali of the People’s Progressive Party will be instituting legal proceedings against the Guyana National Newspaper Limited, the publisher of the Guyana Chronicle and its Editor-in-Chief, Nigel Williams, in his personal capacity for libel.
Jagdeo and Ali are suing the Guyana Chronicle for an article that was published in its February 9, 2020, edition under the headline “Do the right thing and resign…. Jagdeo, Ali, among public officials who fail to file 2018 asset declarations”.
Attorney for Jagdeo and Ali, Anil Nandlall on Sunday said that the publication was designed to defame and damage his clients’ reputation and tarnish their character.
“The said publications are blatant and gross untruths intended to tarnish the character and reputation of my clients and to cause their status to be lowered in the estimation of right-thinking members of society,” Nandlall said.
According to the attorney, the malicious political publicity “gimmick is clearly intended to detract attention from a long list of Government’s Ministers and officials, including the Attorney General, for committing the criminal act of failing to file the relevant declarations with the Integrity Commission, in accordance with the Integrity Commissions Act.”
According to the attorney, the legal proceedings which will be filed will certainly be pursued to the end “even after APNU/AFC loses the Government at the coming elections.”
Earlier in the month, the Integrity Commission published a list of a number of public officials who failed to declare their assets last year and among those are a number of Ministers and former Government parliamentarians.
According to the gazetted list, as of January 2020, a total of eight Ministers failed to declare their assets between July 2018 and June 2019.
These included Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, and Culture Minister, George Norton.
Other Ministers include Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Karen Cummings, and Public Service Minister Tabitha Sarabo-Halley as well as Junior Minister of Agriculture Valarie Adams-Yearwood and Minister Simona Broomes.
Additionally, a number of former Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Government’s side were also included on the list. Additionally, staff of the National Assembly were also not spared, as both Speaker of the House Dr Barton Scotland and Clerk, Sherlock Issacs, were flagged. Permanent Secretaries and technical officials from a number of State agencies and Ministries were also among the delinquents.