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Sep 4, 2017

A.G. Peyrefitte Not Able to Secure Statement from Forte or Attorney

Darlene Padron

The Attorney General’s Office is not in a position to investigate the alleged criminality involving the use of the signature, but can it investigate claims that public funds were used to compensate Vega for a private land transaction?  That’s what we asked Peyrefitte earlier and his response is that, on the surface, the business deal between Vega and Forte seems legitimate.

 

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Ms. Forte’s position is that she’s not prepared to say or do anything at this point, more than what she has already done.  So what I have in front of me, in terms of just looking at what I need to do in terms of Ms. Padron as a Justice of the Peace, all I have is one side of the situation and that is Ms. Padron’s situation.  Ms. Forte is not prepared to give us anything in writing, addressed to me, to explain to me what’s going on or to help me with my questions and what I am doing.  So as it stands, that’s where we are.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“As the attorney general, aren’t you in a position to be able to launch an investigation, first of all, into the alleged fraudulent use of signature, in this case involving either Ms. Padron or Ms. Forte?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte

“As the Attorney General, I have no such jurisdiction.  An investigation into fraud which is a crime, which is a felony, that has to be led by the police department and the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“At the heart of this is a dubious land transaction and allegations are being made that one Andre Vega was essentially compensated by the Government of Belize for a private land transaction, basically.  Wouldn’t this then trigger an investigation, seeing as though public monies were used to finance a private land deal?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

“Well I don’t know about dubious.  What I have in front of me is what I have to work with.  You have a signature there purporting to belong to Ms. Forte.  She transferred the land to Andre Vega in the presence of a JP, that’s what you see on the paper.  Ms. Forte has indicated through communication with the Prime Minister is that that’s not her signature, and so then the Prime Minister, as I believed I heard him correctly, has even said there’s been an institution of a fraud investigation.  I am being told by the police that Ms. Forte does not want to give them a statement and I know for sure she doesn’t want to give the AG’s ministry a statement.  So in my opinion, it’s a nonstarter from that standpoint.”

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