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Mar 3, 2014

CJ orders ComPol to investigate Elvin Penner and passport issued to Won Hong Kim

Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today issued a writ of Mandamus against Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. In simple terms, the Court has now instructed Whylie to criminally investigate the Won Hong Kim passport scandal and, of course, the man in the middle of it all, former Minister of State Elvin Penner. In addition, the Chief Justice delivered stinging criticism of ComPol Whylie, calling his refusal to investigate irrational, unreasonable and unlawful. It is a significant victory for the claimant, P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca, and a major black eye for Belize’s top cop. The CJ took just a little over half an hour to provide his decision, with an explanation. Mike Rudon was in Court for what is a landmark ruling with certain political repercussions for Elvin Penner and likely for the government of the day.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

At twelve forty this afternoon P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca, flanked by political supporters, emerged from Supreme Court number one…victorious. The party had beaten the odds and gotten the Court to direct Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to carry out, to its conclusion, a criminal investigation into the passport scandal.

 

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“The great majority, the overwhelming majority of the Belizean people have been of the very clear view that we needed to have an investigation into this matter, so it’s a victory for the Belizean people, it’s a victory for the rule of law…it’s a victory for our democracy so we are pleased with the decision.”

 

The writ of mandamus is considered somewhat of a last legal resort and is not granted without overwhelming cause. With that said, there is victory and clear vindication for the P.U.P. today, but it is tempered by the limitations of the writ. The investigation has been ordered, but the Court cannot tell the Commissioner how to conduct that investigation.

 

Francis Fonseca

“In effect the Chief Justice has ruled in our favor, in my favor. He has ordered that the writ of Mandamus be issued against the defendant, the Commissioner of Police in this case, ordering that an investigation be completed…if it has been started, it has to be completed, concluded into this U.D.P. immigration scandal. In addition to that, he has declared that the refusal of the Commissioner of Police to carry out an investigation, the refusal to conclude that investigation…his statement in his affidavit in court that he has decided not to investigate this matter…the Chief Justice of Belize has ruled today that that position is unlawful, it is arbitrary, it is unreasonable, it is unfair and he has ordered him to in fact carry out that investigation.”

 

It was clear today that the Court was troubled by the facts of the case, in particular the refusal of the Commissioner to investigate. A leaked memo from the D.P.P.’s office which stated that instructions had been given to halt the investigation also seemed to carry heavy weight. Still, the reality is that it is likely more of a symbolic victory than a practical one, since the time constraints make it unlikely that Elvin Penner will face criminal charges for his role in the passport scandal.

 

Elvin Penner

Francis Fonseca

“He will have to find a way to carry out that investigation. The Court has ordered him to do so. We believe that there is a lot of information that they have available on this matter. It is a question, as it has now been revealed in court…and if it were not for us coming to Court we would not have found out any of these things…but it’s clear that an investigation was started and someone instructed that the investigation be stopped. And that is a matter we can’t allow to just simply be swept under the rug. Even though the Courts have ordered that an investigation be carried out and the Commissioner must do that investigation, the Belizean people deserve to know who intervened….who sought to halt this investigation…who instructed the Belize Police Department not to continue that investigation…they are the ones who have tried to subvert our justice system and we need to know who gave those instructions.”

 

The statute of limitations in the summary offences for which Penner could be criminally charged for his role in the passport scandal expires within the week. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

If the writ of Mandamus and public scolding weren’t bad enough, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie was also ordered to pay costs, five thousand dollars for the claimant and two thousand dollars for the office of the D.P.P., who was named as an interested person in the case.

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9 Responses for “CJ orders ComPol to investigate Elvin Penner and passport issued to Won Hong Kim”

  1. Patriot says:

    If the police were instructed to investigate how immigration papers ended in Saldivar’s hands, which is an irrational move that goes against the peaceful democratic system of gov’t of Belize, then the Chief Justice should recommend the INTERPOL or and independent body to investigate the person(s) who “sought to halt this investigation…who instructed the Belize Police Department not to continue that investigation … they are the ones who have tried to subvert our justice system.” This is a serious matter that should not go into oblivion.

  2. curious says:

    Is there any way the same can be done with Castro? See If PUP take di lead eena this way and pull up di rascals dem fi staat to mek wah example a di ……. dem weh figa deh kud do weh deh want eena govament ah wudda vote fi dem nex go round.

    See, this nonscense has to stop. Somebady haaf fi mek wah example ah somebady if deh reely mean weh deh di seh bout govan karekly.

  3. Ali BaBarrow, ring leader says:

    It is OK to investigate now.

    All the documents have been shredded.

    Working 24/7 has been hard work, but none of the 40 are going to prison. And that is all that counts.

  4. Ali BaBarrow, ring leader says:

    Yes justice has prevailed.

  5. Ricky Malthus says:

    It is shameful and disgraceful for Belizeans to depend on foreigners to dispense justice. Yes, we live under a new slavery and colonialism imposed by Barrow. We have foreigners dictating to us who comes to live here. Both PUPs and UDPs have lost their way in governing Belize. Why can’t Belizeans govern Belize?

  6. BelizeanRise says:

    ComPol looks like he will take the rap for this one! This means “di” man will get some serious money when all is done. This whole thing is a cover up of what started from early elections, this was the reason why the elections were called before time. If I am not mistaken Ruth Meighan was removed from the Immigration department because they wanted some one that was going to work with them. The funny thing is that the AMERICAN EMBASSY is keeping quiet about this matter, they always talk about terrorism and homeland security for their boarders and have not even said a thing about this visa/immigration hustle. Again it comes down to who we put in power, Uneducated idiots. Look at the Carribean and other countries, they have people with masters degrees and doctorates and legal certifications, But in Belize we have high school and even lower uneducated people in government. Mein dis da shame.

  7. CEO says:

    If the crime was this blatant and the Com Pol had no reason the investigate when he is forced to investigate his findings will be a joke and he will never do a good job.

  8. Lord LOL says:

    Well I guess we all know who will be the first one to lose his job when PUP comes to power, then it will be Josephine Tamai for not letting the recall petition to proceed.

  9. Timber says:

    Contraire my brother, BelizeanRise. The American Embassy is not keeping quiet about this. It’s biding it’s time and several of our Ministers and Permanent Secretaries have a few surprises coming up. However, you have to act accordingly and honor some basic rules when it comes to diplomacy. Give it a couple of years, depending upon how the pendulum swings.

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