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Nov 8, 2016

What Happened to Criminal Complaint on Elvin Penner?

Godwin Hulse

Former Minister of State Elvin Penner was thrown out of Cabinet in September 2013 after having been found to facilitate jailed Korean businessman Won Hong Kim with a Belizean passport and nationality without meeting the requirements. This was to unsuccessfully, get him out of a Taiwanese jail. These and other misadventures between April of 2011 and September of 2013 earned him a starring role in the Auditor General’s Special Audit on the Immigration and Nationality Department, released to the Government earlier this year. On Wednesday, the Senate’s six-member Select Committee will begin questioning persons named and involved in the audit beginning with the Auditor General herself, Dorothy Bradley. But it still rankles many that Penner seemed to escape criminal charges. A private prosecution brought by Jihad McLaren and Geovannie Brackett failed in the Supreme Court because they were unable to persuade the Chief Justice to force Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to turn over the Department’s investigative file. Attorney Kareem Musa, who acted for Brackett and McLaren, has finally seen part of the investigative file on Penner. He called on Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal as well as Prime Minister and substantive Minister of Home Affairs Dean Barrow, to turn the heat up on the ex-Minister of State. But eyebrows were raised today when Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse reported that a formal complaint has been made to Police by Immigration.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration and Nationality

“It is not for the Minister; it’s for the Director of Immigration, and the Director of Immigration had done that, you know, a formal complaint was made to the Police.”

 

Reporter

“About Mister Penner?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“….About the whole issue, yes.”

 

Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Attorney

“I am aware that many witnesses gave statements; I have seen some of the statements. Unfortunately, they provided with the insignificant witnesses, but I can tell you it is a very bulky file, and the important ones that will incriminate Elvin Penner were not provided to me, with good reason. But I can say to you that it is a bulky file, and whatever request the D.P.P. made – I think the D.P.P. has an onus as well, to continue to follow up this matter; this is a huge, national interest matter, and we cannot allow this to just be swept under the rug, as per usual with this Government. And so the D.P.P. has to follow up with the Commissioner – if she made requests in 2014, two years have gone; it would be good to renew that request and say, “Mr. Commissioner, did you get that information that I requested of you?” Because we cannot just sit by idly and allow the Commissioner to go on national T.V. and say, “I don’t watch the news,” or “I did not get a copy of the Auditor General’s Report” – everybody has a copy of the Auditor General’s Report. So he cannot continue to get away with that. And the Prime Minister, no less, is the Minister of Police, and he should be the one responsible now to ensure that the Commissioner does his job, and if he is not doing his job, he should get rid of him.”

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2 Responses for “What Happened to Criminal Complaint on Elvin Penner?”

  1. carlos says:

    They should arrest the commissioner of police for not doing his job. Almost 3 years have gone and Penner is still free. Where is the justice in Belize?

  2. Mike G. says:

    After you look at his illegal immigration dealings, take a look at his shady land acquisitions. I hear he has 1,000 acres in the Pine Ridge. Wonder how he got that?

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