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Sep 29, 2006

B.D.F. heart doctor detained for desertion

Story PictureTonight one of the country’s two cardiologists is being held in detention by the Belize Defence Force pending charges of desertion. That’s right, according to Dr. George Gough, his brother John was detained on Thursday afternoon by senior members of the B.D.F. on orders from Commander Lloyd Gillett. Today the elder Dr. Gough claims that the gist of the argument is whether his younger brother is a volunteer or regular member of the force.

Dr. George Gough, Brother of John Gough
?Presently my brother has been detained on the Belize Defence Force compound in Ladyville. I don?t really understand the technicality when we come to the legal lingo, but I understand that he has been detained because they claim that he has been absent from work or to use a more aggressive word for desertion. Now I don?t understand how you can call someone desertion if the person we know is under a volunteer act. The person belongs to the volunteer unit and not the regular force. John is a volunteer, that might have been more of their bugging up, but that is the first point. Secondly if he is volunteering, we feel that constitutionally they are infringing on his rights to detain him. This is going to produce huge things. I am here as his brother today and don?t look at me as a politician because I don?t want think that there is some political interference. I am asking and I am warning that they are careful how they handle this because at the end of the day I don?t want to make it personal. I know for a fact that it is my brother, maybe I am making a cry and some might say that if it wasn?t his brother would he be making a cry? Well maybe not, but the point is that he is my brother and the point is that I will make it personal. It is sad because at the end of the day any recourse they take has to have some end to it, and when it has their end then obviously we will look at what our options are. So why do I come here today? I come here today because from yesterday we were trying to do it the legal way and we still doing it the legal way, we had legal council. We went to the camp with my brother with legal council and we could see what was being conspired. We can still see what is being conspired. I spoke to the highest authority in the land and I can still see that nobody is even interested in what is happening, so what more can I say. I guess my brother is being looked at as a common criminal. I mean I don?t know how they can look at a taxpayers trained cardiologists, which comes back to the country seven months ago–the Government of Belize and the Belize Defence Force can?t even give him a job description and can?t tell him where to work. Taxpayers? money you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars. He writes a letter to Karl Heusner offering himself to go there and work and they write him back saying that they have no need for a cardiologists at this time. So these are many things that I can bring to light, but I don?t think that I have to come burn no personal bridges here today. I just want to bring to attention to my government that you need to act within the law, and if you all say that this is a country of law you need to re-look at my brother?s status before you continue to detain him. And if you dare continue to detain him and you proceed to persecute him then I cannot say anymore here today. And I hope and pray that it is not political. I hope and I pray.?

Commander Gillett is presently out of the country but is expected to return to Belize tomorrow. His second, Colonel Stephen Heusner declined comment beyond stating that Dr. Gough’s case is an internal matter and as such will be dealt with by the force as a disciplinary manner.

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