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May 26, 2017

Press Office’s Pakeman is Cleared in Courts; Evidence Disappeared

Dorian Pakeman

The Director of the Government’s Press Office, Dorian Pakeman, walked out of the Magistrate Court this morning, a free man.  In March 2016, Pakeman was accused of causing the death, by careless conduct, of a Gardenia resident on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It took almost ten months to bring a single charge against the highly-connected director, who was later suspended by the Office of Prime Minister. Today, the case fell apart when the Senior Magistrate upheld a no case submission because of lack of evidence.  The court, however, was not pleased that despite bail conditions, Pakeman travelled in and out of the country at whim. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

It has been a little over a year since forty-five-year-old Dean Dawson, a resident of Gardenia Village, lost his life in a fatal traffic accident along the Philip Goldson Highway.  The mechanic was riding a bicycle along the stretch of road between miles twenty-two and twenty-three on the night of March thirtieth, 2016, when he was knocked down by a motorist.  That driver was later identified as Dorian Pakeman, Director of the Government Press Office.

 

Juanito Cocom

Insp. Juanito Cocom, O.C., Ladyville Police [File: March 31st, 2016]

“Upon arrival, police observed a burgundy Isuzu D-Max bearing license plate [number] BZB-2029, which is the property of the Government of Belize, on the left hand side of the highway, in the direction of Ladyville, in some bushes with its front portion completely damaged.  Furthermore, about fifty feet from the vehicle, the motionless body of a brown complexion male person dressed in a purple t-shirt and a long jeans pants was seen lying face down on the same side of the road.  About twenty-eight feet away from him was a blue and white bicycle completely damaged.”

 

In the fourteen months that have since expired, strange turns have been taken during the widely-covered case, including allegations of evidence tampering and the purported detection of cocaine in Pakeman’s system.  That alleged discovery was reportedly found in specimen taken from the driver.  ACP Edward Broaster disclosing that tidbit in the media:

 

Edward Broaster

ACP Edward Broaster, Regional Commander, Rural Eastern Division [File: September 5th, 2016]

“We have gotten back a certificate from the chemist which certified that cocaine was found in Mr. Pakeman’s blood.”

 

Those key elements having been outwardly established, Pakeman was later indicted on a single charge of causing death by careless conduct.  The case against Pakeman, in connection with Dawson’s demise, seemed ironclad.  That was until it went before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer earlier today.  Attorney Bryan Neal entered a no case submission on behalf of his client.  That motion was upheld.

 

Dean Dawson

Bryan Neal, Attorney for Dorian Pakeman

“Having reviewed the file, there was a lot of noise made about certain things in the media but having reviewed the file, as a matter of law, I found that there was no evidence and I found that there breaches of procedure so fatal that had the matter gone to the Supreme Court, it could not have, any reasonable jury could not have convicted Mr. Pakeman.  So my submission was, rather than sending it up to clog the court system in the Supreme Court, just to dismiss it.  And the magistrate found favor with my submission.”

 

Those fatal breaches being referred to are the said allegations mentioned elsewhere in this story, those pertaining to the samples taken from Pakeman after the accident.

 

Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal

“Under Section Seventy-seven of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, there is a procedure where there is a sample requested.  Within one hour you must give it and a subsequent sample, just to be sure, must be given.  So that there was only one sample given, not in accordance with the procedure in the act, and therefore that sample could never form part of the case and that was one of the reasons I submitted that there was no evidence.”

 

Granted, it is a technicality based on the procedure not being followed; however, failure to adhere to the process doesn’t mean that the sample taken was free of illegal substance.  That certificate mentioned by ACP Broaster would have also indicated that the trace amounts of cocaine found in Pakeman’s system would not have been sufficient to impair him while driving the vehicle.

 

Bryan Neal

“That is why we were saying that for careless conduct, if there is no proof that there is any drug and there is no further proof that there is any carelessness then the matter ought to die here as it has.”

 

Equally of note is that civil suits filed against Pakeman by the mothers of Dawson’s kids have since been settled, clearing him of any pending legal matters.

 

Bryan Neal

“I shared in court a letter from the common-law wife saying that the matter had been settled and that she did not want the criminal matter to proceed either.  She has been compensated, Ms. Adolphus.  There was another claim which has been dismissed because the claimant did not have the requisite standing to bring the claim on behalf of Dean Dawson.  So there is no civil matter outstanding for Mr. Pakeman and there is now no criminal matter outstanding for Mr. Pakeman.”

 

Perhaps what was most interesting about today’s procedure, aside from the outcome, is the fact that Pakeman left the country on several occasions without the permission of the court, despite the expressed conditions of his bail.  For that he was soundly castigated for flouting the orders of the court. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

Pakeman did not address the media and it is not known when he will be reinstated as Director of the Government Press Office.

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4 Responses for “Press Office’s Pakeman is Cleared in Courts; Evidence Disappeared”

  1. carlos says:

    What a disgrace with our justice system. That is why so many murders taking place in the city especially. Government should stop police doing investigation, evidence gathering. They are not properly trained for this. Create a department like what they have in other countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala. A department trained just to do investigation and evidence gathering (Ministerio de Governacion) and provide them with the necessary equipment to investigate and gather evidence.

  2. Stopthebs says:

    Evidence got up and disappeared ,How convenient. The Belize justice system is clown show.but the joke is on the citizens. And only those corrupt thieving politicians are laughing. What a disgrace. I hope all those who are involved in this miscarriage of justice get what they deserve soon..disgusting leadership in Belize…POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

  3. Mike G says:

    And once again politics and a corrupt & inept police department have aborted our criminal justice system. Disgusting and shameful!

  4. Clue says:

    One word, “WOW” Sharon. Hopefully something like this doesn’t hit close to home for you. God is a just God but also a vengeful God. Let’s hope when your turn comes you can handle it. I’ve lost all resect for you.

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