‘Opposition has sunk to a new low’ – VP Jagdeo

says it is ‘complicit’ with criminality

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has called out the opposition for its apparent embracing of political commentator Rickford Burke, who is set to present himself before the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court in March to respond to a series of charges, which include extortion.

At a press conference held at the Office of the President on Thursday, Dr Jagdeo said the issue has nothing to do with Burke being a critic of the government, but is rather centred around his criminal activity.

“He’s a criminal wanted for extortion in Guyana. I see all of this as a defence, not of a critique of the PPP, but of a criminal,” he said.

The vice president added that some media portrayals of the issue appear to circumvent Burke’s criminal activity.

Moreover, he said the opposition has also weighed in on the issue and seems to be in support of Burke.

“They are complicit in a criminal act. APNU has sunk to a new low now. Formally, they have embraced a criminal who is extorting businessmen. This is not about free speech because free speech in this country is alive and well…In fact, people go beyond what would be considered normal in many other parts of the world. And you don’t see them every day being hounded by the government,” he said.

On December 3, 2021, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) issued a wanted bulletin for Rickford Burke, in relation to several offences, which included the excitement of hostility or ill-will on the grounds of race, sedition, inciting the provocation of a breach of the peace, and inciting public terror.

A wanted bulletin was again issued on September 29, 2022, for Burke in relation to the offence of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, Contrary to Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act, Chapter 8:01.

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