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Jagdeo unbothered by SARA lawsuit over “Pradoville 2”

first_img– describes it as “Silly” and “politically motivated”Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has confirmed receiving a lawsuit from the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) over purchased land at “Pradoville 2” located at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, but has described it as silly and politically motivated.“Yes, I have received it, I am responding to it… my lawyers are responding to it… I didn’t even look at it; I heard it came and I told the guys to send it over to the lawyers… it’s a political matter, I don’t waste my time… it a routine matter for me,” he told the media on Thursday.Jagdeo said the Director and Deputy Director of SARA, Professor Clive Thomas and Aubrey Heath-Retemyer are holding their respective posts illegally. The Opposition has argued that the SARA Act provides very clearly that their appointments shall be made through a parliamentary process. Since that Act came into force last year, that process was never activated.The Opposition has argue too that a transition provision in the Act allowed the Director who operated in the agency before the Act came into force, to continue to act in that office for a limited period. They noted however that that period has long expired.Jagdeo said he recalled that SARA had stated publicly that they are working on some high-profile cases, with recoveries above US$10 million and these cases would be filed by the third quarter of 2018, which they did not. Instead, they have gone to the Pradoville issue.“SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit), SARA nor FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) have not charged a single drug dealer, they have not launched a single cases against or recovered a single cent from anybody. Now Pradoville is the only case after we have spent close to $600-$700 million on hiring the geriatric cabal at SARA,” he added.The former President has also made it clear that he would not pay a single cent more for the land, even if he was asked to pay a difference by SARA. “Why would I waste my time behind an adventure which is a political matter…?” Jagdeo said, when pressed for an answer.Jagdeo had said that SARA is just another mean for the Government to secure employment for retired citizens. “If you shut down SARA, you can hire 400 people. Where are these US$10 million cases that SARA was supposed to discover, (they said) that how many people had US$10 million and above abroad. What is happening with them? They are just wasting our money.”The Opposition has also spoken about the directors known and professed political connections. Professor Thomas is a leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of the political parties in the coalition Government.On the other hand, Heath-Retemyer was quoted in the press as conceding that he has a political affiliation. He did not disclose to which political party he is aligned. Tacuma Ogunseye and Desmond Trotman, two longstanding leaders of the WPA were also employed by the agency.last_img read more