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Jul 19, 2017

Dueling Audits Stymied Further Investigation of Nationality Records

The former senior cop stated that this branch of the investigation came about after his colleagues in Belize City spoke with Saldivar and retrieved the files. But when he attempted to access the original files at the Department, Valdez told the Committee, he was denied because an internal Immigration audit was underway and what became the current Auditor General’s report was already underway, that the sheer number of irregularities he found in the documents necessitated the entrance of the Audit Department, who he assumed would cooperate with Police. But he never got the chance to follow up. Here is how he explained that.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Did you at any time after writing this report, go back to investigate the discrepancies that you identified?”

 

Julio Valdez

Julio Valdez, Retired Superintendent of Police

“No, I did not because by that time the file had already been sent to Director of Public Prosecutions. I did not continue.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Right. So you stopped, and you are not prepared to tell us who told you to concentrate on the missing files?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Not concentrate, concern yourself with the missing documents.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“You are not prepared to tell us who said that?”

 

Julio Valdez

“No.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And the reason you’re saying is because of possible legal ramifications?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Are you prepared to give us that information in confidence, not in public?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Senator, I am here because as I said, my name is ringing all over the place, that I need to testify and I come to say what happened, what I did more or less in that investigation into Immigration.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“No, you’ve been very helpful; my question is, are you prepared to give us the name in private?”

 

Julio Valdez

“No.  There was an audit – being conducted by Immigration. The first one was internal by the Ministry; the second was the Auditor General and his team was already there, so I did not access the files.”

 

Ashley Rocke, Churches Senator

“You could not access the files?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Did not.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“Did not…You chose not to?”

 

Julio Valdez

“They were dealing with the files.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“How did that go – you chose not to access the files or you could not access the file?”

 

Julio Valdez

“I went there, I spoke to the Acting Director, told her that I need to see the files; I was told that at this point I would not be able to access them because an audit was being conducted, and I agreed because I think during one of our conversation when the audit was being done internally, I suggested that I believe it is best to bring Audit to Immigration section to audit what was there; so based on that I knew that Audit would be auditing Immigration, nationality.”

 

Ashley Rocke

“I’m still not satisfied with that; I think you were the senior officer in the chief national security of our country, and if you had gone there and said I wanted these files to look at, why would you have not gotten those files and get the information you were seeking?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Looking at the bigger picture, Audit would have more in-depth information as to what was missing; all I would have done was confirm that what I had, the missing documents and what was in the file are one and one, copies.”

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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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