Vice President sues Chinese businessman Su Zhirong for defamation, slander


Guyana’s Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has sued Chinese businessman Su Zhi Rong also known as Su Zhirong for over $50 million in damages in a defamation case filed in the High Court.

Su Zhirong is a businessman and   a national of the People’s Republic of China and a citizen of Guyana by naturalization of Lot A, Block 2 Public Road, Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara

Su, who operates in Guyana, was orchestrated to facilitate an ‘undercover’ conversation regarding a hotel and casino project with the vice president who specifed that he can assist with investment deals on Government’s end but made it clear that he will not get involved in any financial dealings.

During the interview, after asking innocuous questions about the policies of the Government on investment in light of the massive oil find, the reporter suddenly alleged that based on “information” she had received, a Chinese logger named “Su” claimed that the only way to do business in Guyana was to pay incentives.

These allegations were immediately rebutted.

Chinese businessman, Su Zhirong

The reporter’s line of questioning suggested that Guyana was taking financial incentives from the Chinese hence most of the contracts that are being awarded were given to Chinese contractors.

In the proceedings filed by Jadgeo, he is claiming damages in excess of $50M for slanderous   and defamatory statements made, expressed and uttered by Su Zhirong in  a series of recorded  conversations  and/or  discussions  and/or interviews   held  sometime  on or about the month  of January,  2022 in  Guyana between the himself and Isobel Yeung and a person referred to as Mr  Chan, both  correspondents  of  VICE    News,    and  which recorded  conversations  and/or  discussions  and/or interviews  were aired,   broadcasted and published by VICE  News on or about the 19th June, 2022,  and again on or about the 7th  July,  2022,  on American  television channel, Showtime, social media  platform,  You Tube, and  other media  platforms under the title,  “Guyana For Sale”  and  “Undercover   in Guyana: Exposing  Chinese Business in  South America”.

Jagdeo is also claiming aggravated and/or exemplary damages; an injunction   restraining the Su Zhirong whether  by himself,  his servants,   or agents  or  otherwise,   from  further   publishing  or causing  to be published    the  said or similar   words  defamatory  of the  Claimant; costs; interest  on   all  sums  awarded   at  the  rate  of  6%  per annum from the date of Judgment   until  fully paid;   and   such further  or other  orders  as the  Court  deems  just and  convenient.

In June Vice President Jagdeo said that he has been vindicated from the attempts by VICE Media Group to paint him and the country at large for corrupted practices, with the entity failing in its bid to reveal that he had accepted bribes from Chinese investors.

This was the sentiment expressed during a press conference where he said that even though he was unguarded in his personal space during the undercover act, the entity failed to provide any evidence of the sort.