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Feb 9, 2017

Gordon Wade Vs Maria Marin: Who is Telling the Truth About Won Hong Kim Involvement?

Won Hong Kim

Turning to the senate hearings…Did former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, act alone in granting both passport and Belizean nationality to South Korean businessman turned fugitive Won Hong Kim, to help him escape a Taiwanese jail? While the full answer to that may not be known until Penner appears before the Senate Special Select Committee as expected, two senior officers whose names were mentioned in connection with the Kim caper were then-Officer in Charge of Nationality Gordon Wade, and former deputy – and at one point acting – director of the Immigration Department, Maria Marin. Wade, speaking to the Committee on February first, says he checked the file at the request of the Minister and found it incomplete. It was then taken away from him, he said, and supposedly handed to deputy director Marin. But a few weeks earlier, Marin told the Senators on the Committee that she never saw the Kim file. Who’s telling the truth? We re-present their testimonies and let you decide.

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee [File: February 1st, 2017]

“So Minister Penner came to you and asked whether this particular file was ready?”

 

Gordon Wade

Gordon Wade, Former Head of Nationality, Immigration Department

“That’s right.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“And you would have checked on it – you checked the file?”

 

Gordon Wade

“Yes.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“And you noted what?”

 

Gordon Wade

“That the file was incomplete.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Do you recall what was incomplete?”

 

Gordon Wade

“If I am not mistaken, I think it was the complete copy of the passport and I think a police record; they had applied but hadn’t gotten the actual police record yet, something to that effect. And I haven’t seen that file for the last four or five years – I couldn’t remember specifically what was missing at that time.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“But it was incomplete?”

 

Gordon Wade

“It was incomplete.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“And you told him it cannot be processed?”

 

Gordon Wade

“I told him I could not process the file until the other documents were presented which would have made the file complete.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“And that’s when he told you he was going to take it…”

 

Gordon Wade

“He was to take it up to the next level which is the Director.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“He never came back to you with that file?”

 

Gordon Wade

“Never came back to me with that file.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Did the Director mention the file to you at any point?”

 

Gordon Wade

“No.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So that’s the last you heard of Won Hong Kim?”

 

Gordon Wade

“When he informed me that he would be taking [it] up to the Director, that’s the last I saw and heard of that file.”

 

Aldo Salazar [File: January 11th, 2017]

“Did you assist Minister Penner in processing the Won Hong Kim application?”

 

Maria Marin

Maria Marin, Former Acting Director of Immigration [File: January 11th, 2017]

“No, no.  From the report that I did, I was able to ascertain that Minister (Penner) was given that file on the ninth of September. Minister (Penner) never came to me with that file.”

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community [File: January 11th, 2017]

“So to the best of your knowledge and after your investigation, if I recollect, you are suggesting that – who are the persons involved in this Citizen Kim matter, in the Department? You did an investigation, right?”

 

Maria Marin

“From my report, yes, it would have been the counter supervisor in the Nationality Section, Miss Ady Pacheco; the officer in charge, Mister Gordon Wade, and Minister Penner, who accepted the file on the ninth of September from Miss Pacheco as per that letter, and subsequent to that, his signature being on the certificate,  the nationality certificate.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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