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May 19, 2017

Louis Wade Charged, Protests Innocence

It’s been a bad week for the media. It started at Wednesday’s senate meeting when political operatives attacked members of the media.  And this morning, in San Ignacio, the outspoken and firebrand Plus TV editor, Louis Wade, was charged with criminal offences, in relation to an incident that is almost six months old.  Wade says he was aggressed by the son of Minister Rene Montero and he filed a complaint.  But today, Wade was accused as the aggressor in an incident that he claims never happened.  Wade was documenting the use of government resources completing the work of a private contractor when Robert Montero attempted to run him over with his vehicle.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s for Wade arraignment.

 

Stacey Grinage, Attorney

“This morning Mister Wade was summoned to appear before this court to answer to two charges; common assault and using insulting language.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Journalist, TV personality and owner of Plus TV, Pastor Louis Wade, accompanied by family, friends, local activists and supporters, appeared before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton in the San Ignacio Magistrate Court. The vocal TV host answered not guilty to both charges and was granted bail of four hundred dollars for both offences, plus one surety of the same amount. But Wade’s attorney Stacey Grinage made preliminary objections to the charges, pointing out the delay – because the incident happened back in November – and with less than a week to go to six months, the matter would become statute barred – Grinage says it is an abuse of process.

 

Stacey Grinage

Stacey Grinage

“And we made certain preliminary objections and one of those objections or challenges that we raised was that the delay and the time within which the prosecution took to initiate and commence these proceedings was long and we said that delay amounted to an abuse of process. I made submissions and I relied on authority and presented that to the court and the Magistrate heard both sides and he decided that he will reserve his decision and gave both sides an opportunity to submit further written submissions and so the matter has been adjourned sine die until the magistrate comes to that decision on that preliminary challenge which we have made.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And the prosecutor pointed out that it is still within the six month – statute?”

 

Stacey Grinage

“Yes. It is still within, but we submitted that in any event. Five months, three weeks is excessive based on the nature of the offences that they are alleging.”

 

But while this matter is before the court, Wade says it never happened the way it was reported by the other complainant. The charges stem from an incident that allegedly happened in November of last year. According to Wade, he was here at the Santa Elena Sports Complex in his capacity as a journalist, taking videos for a story about the use of government resources where there was ongoing construction that should have been completed by a private contractor. But while he was there, this man, later identified as Robert Montero, the son of Government Minister Rene Montero, arrived in this vehicle. Wade explains what allegedly took place.

 

Louis Wade

Louis Wade, Charged with Common Assault & Use of Insulting Words

“I was almost finished shooting my video and pictures, when out of the corner of my eye, a red pick-up truck who most Cayo people recognize as belonging to one Robert Montero; came directly at me with very high velocity because I was simply doing my job as a journalist. I jumped out of the way and he reversed his vehicle at me. This man was trying to run me over with his red pickup truck. When he saw that I was still there, he got out of his driver’s seat, came around his vehicle and came to me.  Mister Montero aggressed me; every single time. I was out of my vehicle and Mister Montero came out of his vehicle at me, shouting.   Mister Montero did not come closer than six feet to me; not closer. Nor did I tell him one word.”

 

Reporter

“According to the court documents, he alleges that you told him ‘get out of the way a******’? “

 

Louis Wade

“That is, everything is totally fabricated. And I will stand by that till the day I die.”

 

Both men had reported the incident to San Ignacio Police the week after it happened back in November. But it wasn’t until five months and three weeks later that Wade was called in to the Police Station on Wednesday to be told that the witnesses had been interviewed and that Police wanted the video of the incident. But he was also surprised with the news that he was being charged. But claims that Police never followed up with due process.

 

Louis Wade

“I trusted the system. I sat down and gave my report to the investigators. I told them this is what happened. I gave them the names of the witness outside. I told the police that people on the inside who saw what happened and d already told me they willing to say what happened. I gave the police all that information. Do you know that the police did not interview any of those witnesses? The Police just kept saying for six months, show we the tape, show we the tape, show we the tape. I told the police just interview the witnesses and I will give you the tape. I just wanted the police to do their job.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You have always been vocal about things happening in this country; this involves a person who is well known in the community, the son of a Government Minister. Do you think there is any kind of political interference – or is this a political attack on you?”

 

Louis Wade

“Ummm [laughs] let me say on what I think – this is what I am thinking. It doesn’t matter how long your best police, best prosecutor, best people look at a case that does not exist; it could be one week, one months, six months, one year; something that never happened, can never happen. You cannot find true evidence or true eyewitnesses for something that never happened.   I want the OC to tell us why he has not brought in Robert Montero and charged him yet. So, the OC told me over the phone that it was a joint complaint. A joint complaint means two different story; I am ok with that. So, why hasn’t Mister Montero been charged? I have been charged. But where is Mister Montero.”

 

Reporter

“Are you confident that the case will proceed or that you will be cleared of the charges if it goes to trial?”

 

Louis Wade

“Brethren, it never happened. It never happened.”

 

And with that Wade and his team emerged from the grounds of the Police Station and the Magistrate Court to cheering supporters. Among those in his corner were COLA President Geovannie Brackett, former politician Hector Silva and former B.N.T.U. Secretary General George Frazier. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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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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2 Responses for “Louis Wade Charged, Protests Innocence”

  1. Marie says:

    Hopefully Mr. Wade, the magistrate sides with you because I do believe your story. Family and associates of government officials behave this way because they know nothing will become of it. Keep bringing the abuses and corruption to light.

  2. asdfgh says:

    “Once uppon a time” , and the story begins: do you recall Mr. Wade a time when someone needed your help at the San Ignacio Nazarene School?
    Your tv and your investigations were desperately needed but you refused to go there because that is your church and the manager was at that time your church member/manager etc etc?
    We know,but KNOW for sure that in this Montero accusations that you are absolutely innocent, but can I say that karma or sins catching up with you?
    We still praying for you, we love you, God Bless your efforts, God Bless Belize.

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