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Mar 30, 2001

Judge Meerabux suspended as B.A.C. hears case

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It took a long time and a lot of legal wrangling but today the first step was taken toward the possible removal of Supreme Court Justice George Meerabux. Attorney General Godfrey Smith, campaigning in the Pickstock Division, confirmed to News Five that this morning Meerabux received a letter from Governor General Sir Colville Young, informing him that the G.G. was sending his case to the Belize Advisory Council, and while that body considers his fate, Meerabux would be temporarily suspended from performing his duties. Chief Justice Abdullai Conteh was also informed of the decision and had no choice but to implement the order, which was effective immediately. This meant that the case over which Justice Meerabux was presiding, the murder trial of Mark “T-Dog” Stuart, will have to start over from scratch. In that trial the prosecution had presented its case and the defense had submitted a “no case” motion. Meerabux was due to rule on the motion this morning, but due to his suspension, did not show up in the courtroom. He will now assume the less comfortable role of the accused, as the Belize Advisory Council will conduct its inquiry in a quasi judicial manner, with attorneys present and full guarantees of due process. The charges against Justice Meerabux are contained in a number of affidavits filed by members of the bar alledging that he engaged in inappropriate official conduct. It is not known when the Belize Advisory Council will begin its deliberations. Attorney for Meerabux, Kirk Anderson, was unavailable for comment but it is understood that he may be considering additional legal action to challenge the authority of the Council to hear the case.

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