Soldiers accused of cheating on assignment
A Belize Defence Force Lieutenant who was discharged from his duties last month is fighting his termination. Leslie Roberts says his troubles date back to January 2010 when he and another Lieutenant took a Junior Command and Staff course in Jamaica. Both soldiers were accused of cheating on an assignment and while the allegations were never proven, they were sent back to Belize. Roberts told News Five today that his punishment was a fourteen day pay cut and he was placed on severe reprimand. But soon after, the B.D.F. Commandant recommended to the Security Services Commission that he be discharged. The commission approved, but Roberts challenged the decision when he realized that the other soldier did not have to face the same harsh penalties for the offence.
Leslie Roberts, Discharged B.D.F. Lieutenant
“If both of us that went to do the course, if it was alleged that both of us were guilty of the same offence, why was I the only one being charged and discharged and then the other officer was given the option to resign. I got the services of an attorney, Mr. Anthony Sylvestre. He took up my case and he submitted my case to the Belize Advisory Council. On the fifteenth of December, the Advisory Council overruled the Security Services Commission and Mr. Tapia’s decision to discharge me from the B.D.F. they were notified that the decision was overruled by the advisory council and I was to be reinstated. That was in December of 2010. April came of 2011, four months after I was to be reinstated and still I was not reinstated. I went back to my attorney, Mr. Anthony Sylvestre and he then submitted the case to the Supreme Court. The case came up in August and Judge Legall ruled and directed the commander of B.D.F., Mr. Dario Tapia that I was to be reinstated immediately into the B.D.F. and given all my salaries that were lost to me, all my retroactive salaries. I was reinstated in August as the Supreme Court had directed and I kept asking for an interview. I was denied that interview for a couple months. In January of this year, two months ago, I was finally given the opportunity for that interview with the commander of the B.D.F. In that interview, I asked why my confidential report was not submitted to the Security Services Commission so that I could have been promoted from Lieutenant to Captain. Now he told me in that interview, that he has just realized after three years after I took the exams that I had passed one out of the six exams ten days after the [required] ten years period. Now how come you will notice something three years after it happened?”Email This Story