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Jul 8, 2015

P.U.P. Leader Calls for Castro to be Removed

Francis Fonseca

On Friday, Minister of State Edmond Castro took a devastating personal, if not political blow, when he was advised to discontinue a defamation case against visa scandal whistleblower, Alvarene Burgess, and Great Belize Productions/Channel Five. Burgess had accused Castro of taking two thousand dollars cash for the facilitation of each visa for Chinese nationals, and that testimony stood strong in Court under cross-examination. Today, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to remove Castro for his obvious corruption and complicity in the visa scandal.

 

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“I think it is complete vindication of everything that Miss Burgess said, complete vindication of Channel Five feeling that they had a duty and obligation to air very serious allegations. So I think it speaks for itself. We have been denied court judgment which would be on public record for eternity, which would lay out in very clear terms that Mister Castro is a liar and he was in fact corruptly involved and engaged in these activities. But the evidence is there. The public record will also show, the attorneys can share with the public the transcript of the hearings which will show that under cross-examination, Mister Castro in fact conceded many of these very important points and the allegations made against him. So it is damning and there can be no circumstances under which Mister Barrow can come to the people of Belize and say he continues to support Edmond Castro as a part of his government. There should absolutely not; absolutely not. In fact, the allegations that came out in court and the evidence that came out in court should call for criminal prosecution. That is the truth, criminal prosecution of this individual. And I think all right thinking Belizeans should support the call for Edmond Castro to resign or be removed by the Prime Minister of Belize. That is the only acceptable resolution to this matter.”

 

Mike Rudon

“I know that up to this point, the Opposition has been caught up with this bye-election. But could that possibly be in the plans after the bye-election is done? Perhaps, going after Mister Castro in terms of a criminal prosecution?”

 

Francis Fonseca

“Well, as I said, we haven’t talked about it so I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We haven’t discussed that, but we put out a very clear release on the Castro matter and definitely this is something that we feel very strongly about; that we will continue to pursue. And as I’ve said, from now—even on this Election Day—we make the call and the demand that Castro must go. He must go. They should not be offering him as a candidate for the United Democratic Party in Belize Rural North. That is a reflection on Mister Barrow and on the United Democratic Party. And he should not be a minister of state in Mister Barrow’s government if Mister Barrow is serious about accountability and is serious about good governance. He likes to boast about these things, well let him prove it now. Castro has been…the record is there, the public record is there in court, under oath he testified. It is there for everyone to see. The facts are there and Mister Barrow must act now or he will be condemned along with Mister Castro.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Will the Opposition be calling for a special investigation in the senate?”

 

Francis Fonseca

“We absolutely will—I’m glad you mentioned that—we absolutely will. Senator Lisa Shoman has already spoken to me about that matter so I can say that. We certainly will be calling for an investigation of that matter. You know we already did at one point when we called for an overall investigation of the immigration scandal involving Elvin Penner and that was blocked by the U.D.P. senators led by Godwin Hulse.”

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