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Jul 13, 2017

Heredia Questions ‘Natural Justice’ at Senate Hearing

Tonight we have more from Wednesday’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee starting with Minister of Tourism and Belize Rural South area representative Manuel Heredia Junior. In the case of the fifty-two visas reported in the Auditor General’s report which Heredia took to San Pedro Town, he named the officer in charge in passports in Belmopan as sender and the officer in charge of the San Pedro Immigration office as sender and receiver, respectively, but not by name. In this case there were envelopes inside the larger envelope handed over to various other departments within Immigration. As for why this was not relayed to the Audit team, Heredia told Senator Michel Chebat that all Dorothy Bradley had to do – and did not – was to ask him.

 

Michel Chebat, P.U.P. Senator

“In relation to these fifty-two visas that you transported, I believe it was on the seventh of September, who asked you to take those? Who specifically asked you to take those?”

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation

“I cannot exactly recall the name of the person. I remember that in an envelope there will be probably another envelope that is for Nationality, an envelope that is for Passport, within a bigger envelope, right? So if there were fifty-something visas that was news to me, when I saw that in the report and heard that in the media – that was news to me. Because I know that personally, I have never taken personal visas for anyone, individually, I have never done that.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Right, Minister, but my question is this: who asked you to transport that envelope with the fifty-two visas?”

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“It was the officer in charge in the time of passports; usually it was the officer in charge of passports at that time that will give me, and inside according to the officers over there, there are several other envelope that come from other departments within the bigger envelope. If the Auditor General had applied natural justice and asked me – she could have called me and said, Minister, we have found this – I could have made the explanation and we would have saved this time that we are here, precious time that we have here because I have an answer to everything that I do; I always believe in principles and I believe in whatever I do, I try to do it to the best; so if there were questions about anything that was done, I could have answered but she failed to provide natural justice to myself.”

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