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Apr 26, 2017

Senate Committee Chair Says Hearings Are Serious, Not ‘Soap Opera’

Chairman of the Committee, Aldo Salazar, addressed reporters after the hearing concluded this afternoon.  He pointed out that other aspects of Barton Middleton’s situation – the brain tumour surgery; the alleged criminal case for Immigration offences and other matters – were not within the Committee’s purview except as it relates to any interaction with the Department during the period under investigation.  Salazar confirmed that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions would be forwarded information as to the testimony to determine whether charges can and should be pursued, for instance perjury.

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Senate Committee

“In relation to the veracity of his account, as I mentioned today, that’s a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions, I feel, or any other body who is given that power to bring any charges for what they perceive as any criminal offense. As I indicated, there are serious repercussions for any persons who breach the powers of the Powers and Privileges Ordinance as well as the Criminal Code.”

 

Reporter

“And as it relates to forwarding the evidence that the Committee has gathered so far, how long will it take before the D.P.P. gets that evidence to her?”

 

Aldo Salazar

“I can’t say as a matter of timeframe; but the decision was taken by the Committee to do this, because we felt that we want to have the public and those persons who are appearing before the Committee recognize, because I don’t think that they recognize the gravity of this situation and importance and how they treat with it. It must not be taken lightly because it carries serious implications for imprisonment, as I mentioned. If you breach the provisions of the law governing the Powers and Privileges [Ordinance] for misconduct – it can carry up to two years’ imprisonment; and perjury, on indictment, can carry up to ten years, and we felt compelled to make that point, that we’re not here – I know it is an intriguing matter, but we’re not here just as a soap opera; we’re not here to be taken lightly. We are very serious, and where we feel that persons have breached any of our laws, then we will send it to the appropriate authorities for them to deal with it, and that’s the decision we’ve taken.”

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