[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former President Bharrat Jagdeo did not appear at the Whim Magistrates’ court on Monday, June 22 due to an illness which is unknown to the press.
A medical certificate was presented to Magistrate Charlyn Artiga stating Jagdeo’s illness and the matter is now scheduled for July 13. The medical leave was reportedly given by one Dr. Kumara and is dated June 20.
The former President was charged with racial incitement as was alleged by political activist Christopher Ram. The former President was not required to plea to the charge when he last appeared at the court and was released on his own recognizance. He was also ordered to stay in the country
The charge against Jagdeo stemmed from remarks he made at Babu John, Port Mourant in March at the commemorative event for late Presidents Cheddi and Janet Jagan.
The former President had said, “they shout about racism of the PPP, but they practise racism. They whisper campaigns. In the last elections they went to some of the Afro- Guyanese villages and beat some drums at 6 O’clock in the morning and say let us throw out these coolie people. Get up, go out and vote, throw out the coolie people. That’s the kind of language they use. Anybody from our party who uses that sort of language, we will kick them out.”
Ram in his charge argued that Jagdeo’s statement “can result in racial or ethnic violence or hatred among the people” as set out in Section 139 D of the Representation of the People Act. Under the Act, if found guilty Jagdeo faces a fine of $100,000 and two years’ imprisonment.
Jagdeo however is of the view that the Opposition is using Ram to muzzle him indicating that the effort is aimed at intimidating him to the point where he will stop appearing on the PPP/C campaign stage. He however made it clear that he has every intention of continuing to speak in favour of the PPP/C and against its challenger, APNU+AFC.