Opposition Leader and former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, invoked Presidential Immunity on Monday as he appeared before the Special Organised Crime Unit.
Mr. Jagdeo was at SOCU to answer questions related to his former Government’s decision to transfer and sell state property to some of its own members at below market value prices.
As Mr. Jagdeo headed into the interview yesterday with his attorneys, he said he was there willingly.
But less than thirty minutes later, he emerged with his lawyer, who told reporters that as a former President, Mr. Jagdeo had invoked Presidential immunity, which according to his Attorneys, allows him not to face questions and investigation about decisions he would have made while serving as President.
Article 182(1) of the Constitution states that “subject to the provisions of Article 180 the holder of the office of President shall not be personally answerable to any court for the performance of the functions of his or her office or for any act done in the performance of those functions and no proceedings, whether criminal or civil, shall be instituted against him or her in his or her personal capacity in respect thereof either during his or her term of office or thereafter.”
Jagdeo has accused SOCU of taking political directives from the government. The unit has in the past denied that claim.
Socu is probing the sale of the sprawling seaside land at sparendaam known as pradoville two.
The land was transferred to the central housing authority under the Jagdeo government and hundreds of millions of dollars was spent to develop the area that would later be sold to Jagdeo and other former government officials at prices that were far below market prices.
A number of other former PPP government officials have been questioned by SOCU on the cabinet decision.