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Jan 28, 2016

Paumen & Alleged Accomplices Back in Court

Bradley Paumen & Lizburn Anderson

As we said…Today, in an amazingly protracted and confounding Courtroom drama, it took two Magistrates, the D.P.P., a Police prosecutor and five defense attorneys eight hours and two separate courtrooms to formally arraign three men and one woman. In February 2015, a vehicle driven by businessman Michael Modiri was searched at a checkpoint, and officers found a point twenty-two caliber Mossberg rifle and a bag of ammo. Modiri and three persons were charged. But investigators believe that Modiri was framed by American investor Bradley Paumen. The four persons charged today for various offences in connection with that action were Paumen, his mechanic Lisburn Anderson, Belmopan businessman Jahan Abadi and Modiri’s ex-wife Haung Chong Park. The case started this morning with Magistrate Ladonna John who without reason abruptly recused herself after taking a plea from Lizburn Anderson. We spoke to Anderson’s attorney Rachael Montejo as she emerged from the Courtroom at five twenty this evening.     

 

Rachael Montejo

Rachael Montejo, Attorney, Lizburn Anderson

“I’ve just been retained early this morning so I came in and I’ve been presented with two charges—information and complaint. One is where he’s charged for perversion of the course of justice alone and then he is charged jointly for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice along with Mister Bradley Paumen. Now what is happening is that the one that he’s charged alone, he was arraigned this morning and a plea was given and he pled not guilty. Now the prosecutor got up and stated that this is an indictable matter, but the plea has already been taken. And I made the submission that it is out of time, contrary to section twenty of the relevant statute of limitation. And the magistrate asked for a two-minute adjournment, came back and recuse herself. I asked my reasons and she did not provide any, but I’m still waiting for that to be vetted out. So the current magistrate was about to re-arraign this defendant a second time. I had asked in court whether the court book reflected the plea that was taken. There was a senior counsel in the court and other media personalities were also present when his plea was taken, but it wasn’t reflected in the court book as you all heard in court this evening. So there are questions to be answered and I’m left with my hands up in the air as well. So the matter has been adjourned for the eighth of March. And regarding a secondary issue, I have to present before the magistrate tomorrow at ten o’clock in the San Ignacio Court. So do you have any other questions?”

 

Reporter

“Your client is accused of planting a gun in Mister Modiri’s car. Did he do that?”

 

Rachael Montejo

“No comments on that; no comments. I have not spoken to my client further than having this application for bail and hearing his plea. I was surprised that since he was on indictment, a plea should not be taken and his plea was taken this morning. It ought to have been recorded because he stated so and I made the submission why it should then be treated as summary and should be thrown out because it is out of time. And the D.P.P. has all rights to bring this matter, but a plea ought not to have been taken, but it was.”

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