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The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

Guyanese Vice-President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has threatened to sue Chinese businessman Su Zhi Rhong for making claims of corruption against him.

Jagdeo maintains that his hands are clean and he does not accept bribes to facilitate the award of government contracts.

The vice-president’s threat of a lawsuit follows a VICE News probe in which Su made the claims.

“He had said that VICE News lied on him and had issued a statement [to this effect]. Now that they have him on record as though he was doing this, that he claimed he was not doing, that means he has abused the access and friendship he had with me to rip people off.

“So I am going to take legal action against him, because he is damaging my reputation in doing [so] and also he will no longer, as I had said in the past when you had asked me about it, he will no longer be a tenant,” Stabroek News quoted Jagdeo.

In the report titled ‘Guyana for Sale’ VICE News journalist Isobel Yeung investigated how Chinese businessmen and state companies allegedly pay bribes to local politicians to receive large government contracts.

The journalists, operating undercover, met with Su who alleged that he could assist them to construct a casino and hotel on prime land in Georgetown.

Su alleges that the project will be allowed to proceed once bribes are paid to government officials.

Su arranged a meeting between the undercover VICE News journalist, who posing as a Chinese businessman, and the VP.

In that meeting, the VICE News rep tried to get Jagdeo to negotiate a business deal.

But in a video recorded on a hidden camera, Jagdeo said: “No, no, no! I’m not getting involved with business. Su is my friend; he gets all the support. Su deals with all the agreements. I don’t. My thing is that I’m in government so I assist from the government side.”

In a subsequent conversation, Su assured the undercover VICE News rep that everything will be sorted out.

In a February interview with VICE News, Jagdeo denied allegations of corruption, saying that he never accepted any bribes.

Jagdeo released a video recording of the interview after some parts of his sit-down with Yeung was reported in local media.

At a news conference the following day, Jagdeo said his wealth and assets all line up with the salary he received while working as president of Guyana and a member of parliament.

China’s Embassy in Georgetown also issued a statement defending the operations of Chinese businesses and state companies, saying they operate in accordance with Guyanese law.

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