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Feb 4, 2015

John Briceño Arraigned in Orange Walk on Traffic Offences

The former Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the former leader of the People’s United Party, is the second Opposition parliamentarian to be charged in the last twenty-four hours.  John Briceño arrived in court this morning to answer to what he says are fabricated charges against him. It took about an hour to process Briceño for Negligent Harm, Failure to Report an Accident and Driving a Vehicle Without Due Care and Attention resulting from allegations made by the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Last week, Briceño was surprised when he was served a notice of intended prosecution at his residence because, he claims, the incident for which he is accused never happened. Family and supporters accompanied him to court. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has a report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This morning, another well-known P.U.P. representative was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court.  Shortly before ten o’clock, senior politician John Briceño emerged from the courtroom of Magistrate Merlene Moody wheeling his paraplegic father, his siblings following closely behind.  Briceño had been read three counts stemming from an incident on January twenty-second during which he allegedly ran over the foot of Christopher Hendricks in this gold Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.  Hendricks is the driver for cross-town political rival Gaspar Vega.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Arraigned on Traffic Offenses

“I think that today is a, in my opinion, a sad day for Belize where you can see a political party using the courts of Belize to try to intimidate people.  I can tell you that there is absolutely no truth to what Mr. Hendricks is doing.  I’m a bit disappointed with the police department; I believe that the police have so many other important things to do as to follow up something that has been dictated by their political bosses.  I can see the prints of the Deputy Prime Minister all over this, trying to find a way to intimidate me and by extension the people of this country.”

 

Minus the histrionics of Tuesday’s indictment of colleague Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, today’s arraignment also saw supporters of the People’s United Party, as well as employees from Briceño’s various businesses, present.

 

Christopher Hendricks

John Briceño

“I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not intimidated, I will not be intimidated, I am going to continue to stand up for the good people of Orange Walk Central and by extension for the people of this country.  I will not allow the political bosses in this country to continue to push around the citizens of Belize.”

 

On the day in question, it is reported that Briceño, while attending the inauguration of the Yo Creek/Trinidad Road, asked a small gathering for permission to drive past them.  Among the men was Chris Hendricks.  While the others gave way, Hendricks apparently gave Briceño a hard time.

 

John Briceño

“I am innocent. I drove in, I parked, I spoke to Mr. Hendricks and not for one minute of one second did Mr. Hendricks ever say that anything happened.  I spoke to him and then I went to the ceremonies.  Not at any moment did Mr. Hendricks say anything so what is there to answer?”

 

The charges, says Briceño, are all fabricated.

 

Gaspar Vega

John Briceño

“I certainly don’t fear the deputy prime minister or any of his followers, including his driver.  I think that the Belizean people across this country are going to see what is taking place today, that the U.D.P. is manipulating the justice system so that they can try to get some kind of political gain or political favor. I’ve said that I’m innocent and I have nothing to fear and I have absolutely no problem coming back to court to explain to the court and to show to the court that these are all trumped-up charges, that these are trumped up political charges against myself and the People’s United Party.”

 

Briceño, who was represented today by attorney David Morales, returns to court on April thirteenth. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

Interestingly, Briceño also questioned the police department’s sluggishness in prosecuting Hendricks who was to have been charged in 2014 for allowing a person to drive while not being the holder of a driver’s license.  That succeeded an incident last April during which a toddler was knocked down by a fourteen-year-old minor who was driving Hendricks’ vehicle.

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7 Responses for “John Briceño Arraigned in Orange Walk on Traffic Offences”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    Typical of the lawyer politicians in the UDP. The law is just a tool to be used in an arbitrary and convenient way. It is beyond a disgrace the selective of application of justice in this country. These “learned attorneys” have truly screwed this country.

  2. Al Rich says:

    It i so sad to see a country that claims to be a democratic country, is pressing towards a one party system. Can the people see what is going on in this country. Barrow is running herd on the people he treats like cattle. You all better stand up, this country is sliding out of control.

  3. Citizen says:

    These people really want to hold on to power. Before we know it the whole opposition will be charge on some misdemeanor. Stand strong and don’t be intimidated!

  4. Belizean Pride says:

    just to show how political things are being played nasty these days. Good point Mr. Bricenio brought out, “what about Hendricks son who has not been incarcerated in a juvenile center f or this crime also.”

  5. ratty says:

    Gasper need to chill. Your name is out there for murdering PUP, now you want to lock up PUP. What is your next move?

  6. nismau mis says:

    dirty udp politicians this a warning u r time is up give it up or u will xxaxxxxxxxxx especial that drug dealer gaspar

  7. Patriot says:

    “…a sad day for Belize… the police have so many other important things to do….” Rightly stated. The police force should be ashamed of themselves. When the PUP get into power, they should investigate those officers who subvert the system to please the political bosses. The police are accountable to the Belize constitution & not the UDP. The police should stop using the BELIZE police uniform and start using a red polo shirt and white trousers. Shame on u policemen.

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