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Feb 21, 2017

B.N.T.U. Still Wants International Investigation

Coincidentally, the B.N.T.U.’s final appearance in court came moments before the Mason preliminary inquiry. As part of their eight good governance agenda demands issued during the October strike, they asked for the contracting of an international expert to investigate the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas in July 2016. Back in December, Prime Minister Dean Barrow appeared to have closed the door on that demand, indicating that from his conversations with Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal it was not necessary to have outside help to investigate the murder itself.  But today, B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio said that the union and its partners haven’t quite given up on that yet. For context here’s what the PM’s comment:

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: December 14th, 2016]

“The only room for any kind of expert would be in terms of where there may be some shortcoming—not as a consequence of any omission on the part of the police, but perhaps because the expertise let’s say in the area of the forensic would not be locally available. I have not heard of any such, but that is to me the only possible rationale for importing an expert with respect to the murder. What the B.N.T.U. has been pushing is an expert to investigate the relationship of ministers to Mister Mason. We did agree that we would see the services of such an expert for that purpose, but two things; the Attorney General has proposed terms of reference to govern that to the B.N.T.U. and they’ve come back with some suggested changes, which perhaps the Attorney General will dilate on this a little more, which make clear that they are missing the boat. They seem to be asking that we frame terms of reference in a way that should really inform the actually drafting of the contract if and when we reach the point where we get an expert. So there is going to be some sorting out to do.”

 

Luke Palacio

Reporter

“The matter with William Mason is in court today; we have not heard anything back in relation to the bigger investigation of the links that higher-ups in Government would have had with Mason; any update there?”

 

Luke Palacio, President, Belize National Teacher’s Union

“No. we basically had as one of our eight demands that there should have been an international investigation into the Danny Mason case; we submitted to the then-Attorney General our proposals as it relates to some of the issues that they had indicated; and so far we have not heard from them, but definitely we will do some follow-up on that matter.”

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