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Feb 6, 2013

Why isn’t Mark King criminally charged in Court?

Mark King

Minister of State Mark King is officially on three months suspension without pay after a brawl which occurred at the Princess Casino in the Corozal Free Zone early Tuesday morning. King has been charged by the police with the serious criminal offense of Aggravated Assault of uniformed police officer, Nelson Ramos, as well as Using Threatening Words and Disorderly Conduct. But he has not been arraigned in court as has Diego Witz Junior, the other person involved in the same casino incident. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke this morning on the now infamous border bash and brawl that has landed King at the center of a political scandal. Freelance Reporter Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Police have not released any detailed version of the events which originated here at the Princess Casino and resulted in Minister Mark King taking a proverbial ‘packing’ legally, politically and publicly. The Prime Minister says he hasn’t seen any video of the incident, but he says he is satisfied that the immediate Cabinet reprimand was justified.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I did hear that Mr. King intervened with the security guard was trying to eject somebody that was part of the group he was with. I did hear when that person was ultimately put in the pan of a police pickup truck that Mr. King jumped into the pickup saying that he didn’t think it was fair for his friend to be arrested and taken away by police. That’s the sort of report that I got.”

 

A less sanitized police release issued this morning reveals that King was arrested and charged for aggravated assault, threatening words and disorderly conduct after he allegedly jumped in the pan of a Police mobile and threatened and assaulted a police officer. But he was released without being formally arraigned in court.

 

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“I believe it would depend on the particular police officers but what would not be normal is if the aggravated assault included an element involving use of a firearm or perhaps some other deadly instrument. That’s different from assault, aggravated assault that is a charge of aggravated assault merely because the assault was against a police officer. So that is a considerable distance removed from aggravated assault involving a threat with a knife or gun. And I’m sure that’s the difference. In those circumstances it would perfectly in order for a person to be given station bail before being formally arraigned in front of the magistrate.”

 

The Opposition People’s United Party in a release states that it was just a slap on the wrist and King should have been removed from office permanently. The Prime Minister believes the punishment fit the crime and he says that King deserves a second chance.

 

Dean Barrow

“I know that when he was in opposition, he was fighting for the cause, that he was a brave soul who would engage in public displays meant to dramatize his opposition. And I can clearly have no complaint on that score. In terms of since he’s become a Minister, really I have found Mr. King to be extremely self contained. The thing is Jules that clearly what was done was not well done to put it mildly; we have acted, Mr. King is subjected to my personal sanction, he must now face the courts where there is a chance he will be punished a second time over. He has apologized and he asked me again when I was on the radio just now to reiterate that apology while accepting the gravity of the situation I don’t think we should engage in a public lynching, it is as I said the courts will deal with him, I have dealt with him, but he has been man enough to come forward while preserving his options in terms of the trial to say look I apologize, I am sorry and we are believes in second chances.”

 

According to the police, King will appear at the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning where he will be formally arraigned for his actions on Tuesday. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

Prime Minister Barrow says that at the end of the three month suspension King will resume his portfolio duties because he believes that the actions of the Minister of State do not justify him being relieved of those responsibilities. King is the Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation with the special responsibility for gangs.

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9 Responses for “Why isn’t Mark King criminally charged in Court?”

  1. beachman says:

    Other media reports stated several gun shots had been fired. If this is true, DIShonorable King should be sent to Hattieville as law states like anyone else charged with agg assault w/ a firearm. It would be like a reunion for the Minister to the Gangs to be with his homies!

  2. Eye in the Sky says:

    Cho man ! Di police are afraid to do something against the man or he will send them to go work at some station in the bush with lots of mosquitos and no bars.
    The casino Turks are scared because he could shut them down and make them leave Belize.
    Mark King is the king and has more power than Barrow it seems.
    Take away his ride along with his pay.
    Do not give him a cushy job where he still makes money.
    Send him to sell fry chicken on the street.

  3. oscar965 says:

    the police officer will do nothing…i am sure that if he does..his whole family will be in danger…so Mark does live up to his name…he is a king…and is the man in charge of the gangs in belize..and you…me and everyone pays for his salary..what a world…we live in…

  4. aldo says:

    This is the very core of udp incompatibility.Pathetic to say the least . He is a minister and as such everyone knows they can get away with everything. Surely that does not make it right but that is the way it has always been . Even the suspension is political stupidity. The pup would have swept it clean under the rug. And to be fair what about Hon. Maheia who was caught with cases of mexican beer and released and the media did not even bother to report. And I beleive he is pup.

  5. alley cat says:

    I think we should keep him on as Gang Minister, we need a tough ready to ride or die person in that position. Mr. King gets a pass today…

  6. Reallyyy says:

    another UDP thug!!!just like Finnegan and Boots and Castro and Saldivar and Faber all thugs, intimidating the people, it is this gangsta style that prevails in government, so what do you expect on the street.

  7. Storm says:

    I just want King to face justice like any other Belizean, like you or I would for the same behavior — no better, no worse. Belize has to become a firm follower of equality under the law, or we will always be a petty banana republic. without equal treatment, there is no justice.

    Second, I’m sure Princess Casino has multiple videos of the incident, and I would like to make sure they are not lost, destroyed, or disappeared. THEN I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM ALL BROADCAST ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. A criminal incident involving a notorious minister concerns every Belizean.

  8. Corozal says:

    MANDATORY drug testing for all member of the house of representatives. Fail and fired. Also mandatory drug testing for all government employees. Fail and your fired.

  9. Linden says:

    Aldo, so you’re equating contrabanding mexican beer with shooting up a casino and trying to disarm a police officer in the line of duty? I mean, I constantly hear people using every UDP bungle to harp on what the PUP did or used to do, but this takes the limit.

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