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Oct 31, 2016

House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte Maintains Lawsuit Against Attorney and Auditor General

The Speaker of the House appeared in court today—both as a claimant and a defendant. In the first case, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is presiding over a matter before the Supreme Court by Michael Peyrefitte.  The claim was filed subsequent to his name being published in the Auditor General’s Special Audit on Passports at the Immigration and Nationality Department.  Peyrefitte maintains that despite his name appearing in the review, he did nothing wrong when as a member of parliament, he recommended a passport for William Lindo.  He has since written Auditor General Dorothy Bradley seeking a retraction of his name from the document.  That withdrawal did not happen, prompting Peyrefitte to file a lawsuit against the Auditor General, as well as the Attorney General.  Of interest is that the paperwork was initially filed by the law firm of Reyes and Retreage, the private practice of Attorney General Vanessa Retreage.  According to Peyrefitte, the matter stands, despite a recent change of attorney.


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House

“As you all know, my name was mentioned in the Auditor General’s Report as doing something that I was not supposed to do and clearly I did the thing but clearly I was allowed to do it under the law and I could not have the impression fester that I was doing something illegal.  I wrote to the Auditor General and I asked her to correct it, to take it back.  She refused to do that and so well, we have to come to court.”


Isani Cayetano

“It’s kind of curious that you would use the Attorney General’s law firm, her private law firm, to sue the Government of Belize, in her capacity as the Attorney General.  Can you explain how this came about and that discrepancy?”


Michael Peyrefitte

“You’re not Mr. Current Events.  The Attorney General’s private law firm is not my attorney.”


Isani Cayetano

“It has since been Marilyn Williams, correct?”


Michael Peyrefitte

“Long time.  From the very beginning it has always been Ms. Williams.  It was filed indeed by Ms. Perdomo who happens to work at Reyes & Retreage and she happens to use that filing.  I didn’t see… There’s no difficulty with it.  When you become a member of Cabinet or you become the Attorney General and you are an attorney, of course, then there are certain steps you have to do to take to separate yourself from your law firm.  The current Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources certainly did that.  So there was no conflict but I figured people would try to make mischief of it, so there was no harm in then asking Ms. Williams to take over the case for me.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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