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Apr 28, 2015

Pre-Trial Review Commences in Libel Case Between Gapi and Monchie

Said Musa

Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega speedily brought a lawsuit against his political rival of Orange Walk North standard bearer Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes Junior, last November charging libel because of a radio broadcast. In the coverage, allegations were made that Vega along with a senior police officer, conspired to end the life on the younger Cervantes which in fact claimed the life of his father, Don Ramon Cervantes Senior, a former popular mayor of Orange Walk and businessman. The allegations were made in a recording of a phone call to the elder Cervantes’ widow, Vilma, from one of his accused killers, Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, who remains on the run. In the recording, Castillo claimed that the plan went bad and Cervantes Senior was kidnapped and killed and his body found at a farm on the Honey Camp Road. Today, the case was called up for pre-trial review by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin at the Belize City Supreme Court. Counsel for Ramon Cervantes, Junior defendant in the lawsuit, Senior Counsel Said Musa, explains what transpired.

 

Said Musa, Attorney for Ramon Cervantes Jr.

“The attorney for Mister Vega made an application to the court to amend the statement of claim. Most of the morning before the Chief Justice was taken up with considering whether or not that amendment of the statement should be allowed or not. The Chief Justice has heard the arguments of both sides and will give his ruling next Thursday, on the seventh of May.”

 

Reporter

“Is there any real progress as to the disposal of this case sir?”

 

Said Musa

“Well it is moving along. As I said, we were hoping today would have been the pre-trial review and the next date would have been the trial date. However, the claimant, Vega—through his attorneys—made an application to amend and that is what is holding up the matter now. The judge will give his ruling next Thursday; one way or the other he might not agree to it or he may allow the amendment. We find out next week.”

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