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Apr 30, 2014

Attorney speak on roadblocks in private prosecution of Elvin Penner

Kareem Musa

Attorney Kareem Musa is also representing the grassroots organization, COLA    in a private prosecution of former minister Elvin Penner who illegally issued a passport to a South Korean fugitive who had never set foot in Belize. Musa complained today that despite seeking the documentation, he has been running into roadblocks and there has generally been no movement from the relevant authorities. But in the instance of Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, Musa says her response has been that she cannot release the information because it is exempted under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Kareem Musa, Attorney

“So far, in relation to the private prosecution of the two offenses that Mister Penner has been charged with, we have taken several steps in an effort to gain the information necessary to prosecute the case against Mister Penner. If you would recall and again the record would reflect that the Prime Minister was the one who suggested that the P.U.P.; he suggested that the P.U.P. should actually try to get information under the Freedom of Information Act and do this private prosecution instead of the writ of mandamus. Well we succeeded in the writ of mandamus. Now that we are following through and now COLA has taken up the challenge. Now that we are following through on what he suggested we are meeting roadblocks at every corner. We have formally requested Duane, we have formally requested from the Commissioner of Police through a letter that he turn over all information to us; all evidence gathered from his investigation. Now under the Freedom of Information Act, he has fourteen days to comply with that request…fourteen days have long gone. Likewise, the Auditor General, we requested from her that she delivered all information and materials that she has gathered from her investigation. Fourteen days have long gone, but she has responded, unlike the Commissioner of Police, the Auditor General has responded and said I cannot give you the evidence that we have gathered because those documents or that material is exempt. She said she is not finished with her investigation. Now I don’t know how long these people want to carry on this investigation, but it has been over eight months now that this offense has taken place and that everybody has been intentionally dragging their feet. Now the application that I have made in relation to the Auditor General, under the Freedom of Information Act, I am entitled as an attorney and representative of COLA to ask for a review of her decision that the material is exempt. So the Ombudsman, under the Freedom of Information Act—this the system we have in place—will now look to determine whether in fact that material is exempt.”

 

Musa says that the Ombudsman has assured him that he is currently reviewing the response from the Auditor General.

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2 Responses for “Attorney speak on roadblocks in private prosecution of Elvin Penner”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    This is a simple matter. The UDP government will stall to thy kingdom come to protect Penner. We, the Belizean public, are not interested in a public spectacle. There has been an understanding amongst politicos in Belize that public shaming is the maximum penalty for criminal activity while in office. We are not interested in kangaroo courts or spectacles. Mr. Musa! We need your firm commitment and that of the party that Mr. Penner will be criminally prosecuted under the full force of the law once there is a change of government. Nothing else will do! We don’t want any commission of enquiries or any circus acts. It will send a strong signal that you are serious and the hustling ways of party politics are coming to an end. I won’t hold my breath or get my hopes up, especially considering your pedigree.

  2. the voice says:

    I think Mr. Musa still belive in the easter bunny, santa claus, and that justice will be made on a red goverment. Dont waste your time doing that. My advice. Take them out of goverment now!!! Before is too late.

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