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Jul 19, 2017

Ex-Investigator Julio Valdez Will Not Say Who Redirected His Investigation into Arthur Saldivar Files

In 2014, Retired Superintendent of Police Julio Valdez, then-deputy of National Crimes Investigation Branch, wrote the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, concerning his investigation into a trove of files removed from the Immigration Department in October of 2013, at the height of the Elvin Penner scandal. Those files were retrieved from attorney-at-law Arthur Saldivar and were found to be nationality applications for individuals who did not meet the residency and address requirements under law. It has remained an open mystery as to, according to Valdez, who instructed him to return to investigating how the files were removed as opposed to their nature. But on his appearance before the Senate Special Select Committee this morning, Valdez clammed up, citing unspecified “legal ramifications.” He explained that he was not about to be dragged back into something he considers closed.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Can you clarify for us what was put in the public domain? There is a quote that apparently is taken from your report, which was sent to the D.P.P., which says – you refer to those same irregularities that you found and you say, ‘After follow-up was done on this, and questions asked about these discrepancies, this line of investigation did not continue due to instructions. No other follow-up was made, it remained as is.’ What do you mean by the fact that the investigation did not continue based on instructions?”

 

Julio Valdez

Julio Valdez, Retired Superintendent of Police

“I was already following the Immigration and Nationality section and based on what I already encountered I was waiting for the audit, and I had already visited all other addresses. I did not follow that up because the main concern was that I should follow up the missing documents out of the Immigration Department.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“I am sure you will agree that it is important to understand and to know who, so that we can understand why, not to continue into these serious discrepancies.”

 

Julio Valdez

“Because the first line of the investigation was the missing documents.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“We understand that; but you went on to the second and you received instructions not to continue, and I want to know who gave you those instructions.”

 

Julio Valdez

“The instructions were deal with the investigation over the missing documents; based on that I did not continue the other line of investigation.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“I understand and I am asking you now, who gave you those instructions?”

 

Julio Valdez

“I choose not to answer at this time due to legal ramifications.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Let me ask you this: was it a police officer above your rank?”

 

Julio Valdez

“I will choose not to answer that; I did not follow that investigation and I continue with the missing documents.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Did you receive instructions from anybody outside the police ranks with respect to this investigation?”

 

Julio Valdez

“There were no instructions.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“What do you mean when you say, due to instructions?”

 

Julio Valdez

“People brought up…[they] said, Concern [yourself] with the investigation of the missing documents.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Who is the person or persons?”

 

Julio Valdez

“I choose not to answer that at this time.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Why?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Because due to legal ramifications.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“What are the legal ramifications?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Mr. Courtenay, Senator, I have now retired out of the Belize Police Department; I am a civilian now. I do not want to be dragged back into court and all that thing, the legal ramifications and the end result to prove that what I said is right. Based on that, I choose not to answer at this time.”

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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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