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May 23, 2017

August Says They Will Return to Wednesday’s Hearing

August called on Leader of the Opposition John Briceño to remove Courtenay from the Senate, a decision Briceño has said previously he will not make. Courtenay is seen as the member of the Committee most able to draw out vital information from witnesses. It is believed that he is being targeted for his tough lines of questioning to witnesses appearing before the Committee, bringing out the extensive corruption within the Immigration Department.  In fact, government reps including DPM Patrick Faber are now openly calling to end the senate inquiry. Now, while August pointed today to the right to freedom of expression, Courtenay himself complained to the press on Friday about the U.D.P.’s lack of respect and openly wondered whether they would defy the national sentiment.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“They have no respect for the institutions of this country; they have no respect for the press. And I expect this type of behaviour to continue. Now they are talking about bringing mass police here on Wednesday so that the Senate can conduct its inquiry. Really? We need police to come? To protect us from who? From agents of the government? It is a very sad indictment of where we are as a democracy. What has the Prime Minister said about the behavior of his Chairman? What has the Speaker said about the behavior of the macebearer? These people needs to be called out. The behaviour was illegal, it was unacceptable, it was reprehensible, and we condemn it in the absolute strongest terms.”

 

On the Phone: Alberto August, Leader, Belizeans Against Courtenay

“Every single Belizean has a Constitutional right to freedom of expression and nobody should short-change any Belizean – that is simply expressing your freedom to express your disgust against this individual that is sitting there. That is basically it. Peaceful protest is a form of freedom of expression. So are they going to curtail our Constitutional right to freedom of expression, is that what they are saying?”

 

Reporter

“If you are doing it in the service of a forum that describes something entirely separate – I mean, you could protest outside the House of Representatives, as has been done before; but the inside would be considered sacred, if you will; sacrosanct. It’s not somewhere you would take that kind of thing.”

 

On the Phone: Alberto August

“My friend, the Constitution does not guarantee you anywhere or no place where you can exercise your freedom of expression, once you do not violate the rights of others while you are doing it. We are not – all we are saying you know; we are calling on the Leader of the Opposition – if the Leader of the Opposition removes this gentleman tomorrow, then we have no problem.  Tomorrow, we are going to be there again. Tomorrow, we are going to be there again, expressing our… I am leading a group that is called the Belizeans Against Courtenay group, I am leading that group because there comes a time when people – like what Philip Goldson told us many years ago – the time to save your country is before you lose it, my friend. This gentleman is seeking to take our country from us, and we are not going to sit idly and watch him do it.”

 

We will have live coverage of Wednesday’s hearings with Cherie Nisbet, the former ambassador to Taiwan during the Won Hong Kim fiasco and Alvarine Burgess, the whistleblower in the visa scandal involving Minister Edmund Castro. So stay tuned for all the highlights in Wednesday evening’s newscast.

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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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