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May 6, 2015

Albert Vaughan Acquitted

Albert Vaughan

In August of 2014 then workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) caused great disturbance outside of City Hall on North Front Street. They were protesting against Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council for falling behind on their payments to the company, which in turn caused the company to consider firing fifty employees and downsizing costs. Over forty of the workers were eventually arrested for littering and unlawful assembly. Their charges were eventually dropped after the Government intervened to settle the dispute. But caught up in that Monday morning melee was P.U.P. activist Albert Vaughan, who was in the vicinity of the Queen Street Police Station reporting events live for the party’s radio organ, Vibes Radio, when he was suddenly detained by police. He was charged with loitering in a public place and his case went to trial in April. After hearing testimony from two police officers who seemed to contradict each other’s account of events, Vaughan’s attorneys, Kareem Musa and Kevin Arthurs, submitted that their client had no case to answer because he was not warned specifically that he was in violation, and he had a constitutional right to work. Today, he was vindicated when Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart upheld the attorneys’ submission and acquitted him of the misdemeanor charge. He spoke to reporters outside court.

 

Albert Vaughan, Acquitted of Loitering Charge

“First I’d like to say thanks to Kareem and Mister Arthurs who believed that I was out there doing my job from the beginning. This was a political case man; this is nothing but a political case. I’d like to say the Magistrate did the right thing when he said that I had no case to answer because there is no case to answer. Mister Musa was right all along. Also there were other people who supported me during this case, I would like to say thank you very much.”

 

Reporter

“Were you expecting when you had gone out that day that you will be treated the way you were?”

 

Albert Vaughan

“Yeah, the police was hostile, the officer in charge of that operation was hostile towards me and of course, I knew that the police would have done something that day.”

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