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Feb 20, 2013

Former minister Joe Coye wins land case in court

After years of trial, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out charges against former Ministers of Government, Joe Coye and Florencio Marin. A tort of misfeasance charge fell apart today after the Chief Justice expunged evidence from witness statements. The original allegation was that Coye had some interest in CHEOP Enterprise, which is owned by businessman Colwin Flowers. The two former ministers of government were alleged to have transferred fifty-six parcels of land to a company beneficially owned by one of them below a market value of approximately one million dollars. Initially, the then Chief Justice, Abdulai Conteh found that there was no malfeasance on the part of the ministers, but the Court of Appeal reversed that decision. So, Coye and Marin took it to the CCJ, and that court in June of 2011 dismissed the appeal by Coye and Marin.  But the matter then made it back to the courtroom of current Chief Justice Benjamin who struck out the charge. Joe Coye, breathing the air of vindication, called a press conference this afternoon to announce his innocence.


Joe Coye, Vindicated

“The Chief Justice struck out the charge on the grounds that there was no proof of any loss to the government and there was no evidence to substantiate the government’s claim of a loss. Our lawyers, in my case Mister Eamon Courtenay, did make an application before the court yesterday that the witness statements were violating the evidence act and they were violating the court procedure rules. There were hearsay evidence, they were lacking in expert opinion, they were irrelevant. And that hearing was held yesterday. I could say that the representative for claimant, who is from the solicitor general office, admitted in the court yesterday that there was in fact violations of the court procedure rules and the evidence act. We went back to court this morning to hear the decision of the Chief Justice upon that application that those statements were not in compliance and that they should be struck out in substance. Of the four witnesses, four public officers; they were public officers—two still remains public officers and two no longer. And they were senior public officers. I will come back to those public officers. But this morning when we went back to the court, the judge did rule that those witness statements in fact violated the evidence act and the court procedure rules and the substance of them were to be expunged—using his term—and excised from the witness statements. Senior public officers; one was then the Commissioner of Land, Miss Noreen Fairweather; one is presently the head of the department of the environment, Mister Martin Alegria; Mister Talbert Brackett, who is no longer there, but is working with the DFC and Mister Rolando Vias, who is no longer there; he is working somewhere else. It is my firm and strong opinion that they perjured; they did perjure in that case.”

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9 Responses for “Former minister Joe Coye wins land case in court”

  1. roska says:

    Another Soap apera that we belizeans are tired of hearing…… we all knew the outcome of that case from way before…..another NOLLE PROSEQUI….

    we all dream that one day….. when there will be a case where corrupt (present of former) government officials (of both parties) WILL BE FOUND GUILTY…….and sentenced to do time like any other criminal….

    Perhaps they would need to be tried in another country where there arent so many loopholes in the laws that our lawyer-dominated governments have allowed to exist for them to get off the hook with ther corrupt practices…..!!!!

    Shame and decency is fast becoming extinct in Belize……power and greed being the culprits….

  2. Thin-About-It says:

    @Roska, Don’t be so gullible. It was a political witch hunt with the side benefit of netting millions for a certain attorney. Yes, even in belize political witch hunts do happen. The pup was certainly very faulty to put it mildly and paid for that at the polls, but political witch hunts waste taxpayer dollars and don’t do anything to help the country. This UDP gov has brilliantly focused belizean minds on past sins and even alleged sins, while robbing you blind. Brilliant!

  3. Storm says:

    Having evidence of corruption stricken out because the lawyer prepared them improperly is not exactly a ringing vindication. It’s just a legal technicality, and we’ll never get to the bottom of how corrupt the deal was. Certainly there was actual loss to the nation, because property was sold far below market value for the benefit of ministers — after thee revolution, that should mean prison time!

  4. roska says:

    Yeah, yeah, I know “Thin-About-It” ….. every time a politician is taken to court for their corrupt practices….. THEY WIILL BE LABELLED OF A POLITICAL “WITCH HUNT”…… Do we really expect them to be honest and about their doings??????? jajaja…. good one “Thin-About-It”

    Enlightened my mind with your memory…. when has any politician in Belize been taken to court by the opposite party and have NOT argued that it was a “political witch hunt?”…… Are we so gullible to believe that they will not say that …..??? And I mean both from the blue and the red….

    Let us not have only short term memory….. corrupt politicians thrive on it…. that’s why we are where we are…!!!

  5. alley cat says:

    I would sue over that political ad that had him looking like a hog, land hog…

  6. Think-About-It says:

    Here we go again with Storm hoping for his (her?) revolution. LOL!
    Don’t be blinded by your hatred for all politicians, it just so happens that sometimes they really are wrongly accused, just like other normal people, only usually more so because they have powerful opponents who want to see them crushed.

    If evidence is made up, is hearsay, or is “expert opinion” by non-experts, then it is NOT evidence, period. Would you like to be convicted based on what I, for one, say about you with no proof? I think not. There was a complete land audit that found nothing wrong, but found plenty else wrong by the current admin. So what is there to get to the bottom of besides the CURRENT hustling?

    Don’t worry, in another 50 years Belizeans will have their revolution, then we’ll be like…um…Egypt I guess. A paragon of stability and prosperity..LOL!

  7. Think-About-It says:

    Roska you need to go take your pressure pills. We would miss you on here if….just go take ‘em.

  8. sickntired says:

    Indeed all the distraction about the old thief no mek we see all the current thiefing. Sanctimonious bunch of a..holes. Political maneuvering results in non of the politicians being held accountable.

  9. Jackeline says:

    Justice is obscured when cynicism reigns but when self-righteousness speaks justice is subverted. In the court of “roska” your innocence or guilt will be determined by your calling, vocation or profession. God forbid that “roska” should come to power.

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