GUYANA: Jagdeo released on own recognizance; cannot leave country without court’s approval

HHHHHHHHHFormer President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo rushed to the Whim Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning and was released on his own recognizance after the charge of making racially divisive statements was read to him.The presiding magistrate also ruled that the former President will have to seek the court’s approval before he leaves the country. His next court appearance will be on June 23 when the preliminary inquiry is set to begin.

Mr. Jagdeo was forced to rush to the courthouse from Georgetown after the Magistrate indicated that if he did not make an appearance in person, the court would have employed measures to ensure that he did. The private criminal charge was filed by Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram.

Ram is contending that Jagdeo’s statements at Babu John on March 8, 2015 about the beating of drums to drive out one race by another out of office, could result in ethnic violence or hatred as cited in the Representation of the People Act.

Under that Act, the former President could face a fine and prison time, if he is found guilty.

The former President in that speech used words that are known to be derogatory to a particular race.

The Media Monitoring Unit of the Guyana Elections Commission in its first report for the 2015 elections described the Jagdeo statements at Babu John as “racially divisive” .

The Unit said it offered comment on the speech after it was aired nationally on state and private tv stations.

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