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Jun 28, 2016

Special Branch Head Marco Vidal Says Officers Acted Within the Law

Marco Vidal

Neither the Commissioner nor Special Branch Commander would provide any tangible information on the investigation which prompted the detention of the Ahmad family. But they were both adamant that it was done within the parameters of the law and can hold up against any probably lawsuit brought by the Ahmad family.

 

Marco Vidal, Head, Special Branch

“The law allows for the Police to detain persons for no more than forty-eight hours if no charges are going to be proffered. These persons were detained for probably six hours at the Police Station. As I mentioned before there is a process and this process had to be followed. The guidelines clearly state what that process is and that requires time. So it’s not five minutes in and five minutes out. We’re talking about fifteen persons to process so we were within reasonable time. So as a matter of fact they were not held for longer than was reasonable.”

 

Reporter

“Were women and children involved in the detention?”

 

Marco Vidal

“There were no children detained. There were women because it was necessary for us to question them. In regards to the children, there were eight children. All those children were taken to the relatives of the adults or friends who the adults elected to have care for their children. In the case of two of the children, the father elected to have the children taken to Belize City so that on arrival in Belize City he would not leave them at that location because a search was also being conducted at that location. So he said that he had nowhere else to take them so that they were taken to the station but they were not detained. They were carried to the Raccoon Street Police Station canteen where there was a television. They were told that upon the release of their father they can then leave with their father. A female Police from the Domestic Violence Unit was there. We gave them food, just as we gave all the adults food. They were given to drink. They claimed that they were fasting so they never ate their food but they took it with them. As I repeat, the children were not detained, they were no questioned by the Police.”

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