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Jun 8, 2017

Testy Exchange as Perdomo Goes after Lizarraga

The hearing concluded with some fireworks, as Business Senator Mark Lizarraga pressed the former Minister on a particular application for one Mohamed Mohamed Khalil Owemer, a Saudi/Palestinian national who applied for nationality through marriage but was not qualified. Perdomo said he looked for the specific approvals of the Officer in Charge of the Section and the Immigration Director in recommending final approval for nationality. He was asked how he would proceed if there was disagreement and said he would defer to the Director’s view. Perdomo claimed that he was not aware of the specific case but bristled when it was suggested that he broke rules, written or unwritten.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“So the question is, if she recommended it – hypothetically speaking – she recommended it but Officer Wade had some concerns, would you still sign the nationality certificate?”

 

Carlos Perdomo

Carlos Perdomo, Former Minister of Immigration and National Security

“I would say not, but I am not aware of doing this. I am seeing this for the first time. I don’t know the case.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“No, I understand Minister and I know that this is…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“But if she gives the okay, why not? She is the person in charge.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“So you would proceed…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“Yes, I would, but I don’t know about this case. I am trying to answer your question away from this case because I am seeing this for the first time.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“I appreciate it, and that’s all I trying to do is get some clarity because earlier you said that you would look for both approvers on the minute sheet…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“Yes, that would be my usual way to do it, but I am not aware of this case. But I am reading it and I say [that] if Miss Meighan says it is okay, I would sign.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“You’re saying now that perhaps there may have been times when you deviated…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“Well, that’s what you are showing me so I’m saying yes.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“So it’s possible then that you broke your rule and…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“It’s possible, yes sir.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“And could break it again…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“No, no. There’s no… which rules I broke? Which rules I broke? (Cross-talking) I did not break any rules.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Senator, let’s not have the banter; can we just ask the question and get a response?”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Can I finish?”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Yes.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Mr. Perdomo, you are jumping to conclusions. I asked you, is it possible that you broke…”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“I said it was possible…”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Let me finish, Mr. Perdomo, let me finish!”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“I already said it was possible, then you add the thing about broke the rules. You are trying to trick me to say something that is not true. (Cross-talking) You added that after I said it is possible, and I said no, I did not.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Is it possible that you broke your stated rules before signing a nationality document? You said earlier that you look for two things – it is possible that there were cases where you did not follow your own rule?”

 

Carlos Perdomo

“There were no cases. This is a new case that I see and it’s possible for that one, because Ms. Ruth Meighan said it was okay. I did not break any rules and it was my standard, not rules; and if Ms. Meighan says okay, I did it.”

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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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