“For me, the information is credible and I would like to get it verified. But I support the fact that allegations must be verified before carried and I am prepared to say that I am wrong.”
Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan
These are the words of the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, as he admitted that the allegation he made against the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, was not verified.
On Christmas Eve Day, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) released a statement on its Facebook page that raised serious questions about the Minister.
The statement claimed that Ramjattan is the owner of a Capital One Bank account in Stream Valley New York.
It was also mentioned that the account was established in 2016 and to date some US$5M had passed through it.
The PPP then called on the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) and relative state agencies to investigate the origin of this sum of money.
However, at yesterday’s PPP press conference, Jagdeo revealed that he had received this information from a credible source and it had not been verified.
In fact, no report was made to the FIU but Jagdeo went ahead to authorise the publication.
Jagdeo said that if necessary, he can write a request or make the report but he is very sure that everyone reads, including President David Granger and the FIU.
The opposition implied that if they had seen the publication, they can commence an investigation without a formal request or report.
In an attempt to defend his decision to publish an unverified allegation, Jagdeo explained that he had suggested to President Granger to trace all foreign assets held by former and current Government ministers.
He said that he had told Granger to hire an international firm to do the job but his suggestion was not taken into consideration.
Had this been done, said Jagdeo, “we would not have been this situation now.”
However, Jagdeo is of the idea that that Ramjattan can step forward and deny the claims by allowing the FIU to investigate.
If proven wrong, Jagdeo said that he is willing to accept defeat and will do better next time.
Commentators made it clear that Jagdeo is known for making allegations without fact checking.
Almost at every press conference, he would make allegations without verifying them.
Making false allegations, they said, can seriously tarnish someone’s public image and character.