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Dec 8, 2017

Why Franz Parke Had To Go

Franz Parke

Jamaican-American attorney Franz Parke’s brief second tenure as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Belize came to an end earlier this week. In the days since his departure, startling allegations regarding his personal and professional conduct since moving to the U.S. in 1980 have emerged. Parke chose not to fight the court case filed against him by Opposition Leader John Briceño in October, though he maintained, according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow who spoke with him before his departure, that he could have defeated the allegations which opponents pronounce makes him unfit to serve. But he heeded the advice of Court of Appeal President Manuel Sosa not to expose the Judiciary in this way.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I’m not going to get into that; I know that there was some letter sent. The fact is that Mr. Parke, in speaking to me, has expanded a little on what I saw, the content of his resignation letter to the Governor General, I think that was very laconic, merely saying that he was resigning with immediate effect. Mr. Parke insists, that whatever they are alleging or charging, he can very easily debunk, rebut, dismiss; but clearly that they are raising allegations, means that he will have to not just compile evidence to rubbish the allegations; he would have to swear an affidavit and subject himself to cross-examination. He tells me that he consulted with the President of the Court of Appeal, and they agreed that this would expose the Judiciary in a way that is untenable and uncountenanceable. And he is saying for him, it’s not a problem to simply resign – he doesn’t live here, he has his practice in the U.S., and so it is in those circumstances that he decided to call it quits.”

 

According to the Prime Minister, Parke’s five-year contract based on his commission by the Governor General is revoked by his resignation.

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