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May 4, 2017

Penner Di Come!…To Senate Committee Next Wednesday

Former Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, is confirmed to be testifying before the Senate Special Select Committee next Wednesday.  It has been a long time – in fact, nearly five years – since he was fired from Cabinet by Prime Minister Dean Barrow for facilitating South Korean fugitive businessman Won Hong Kim with Belizean nationality and a passport to escape justice in his home country.  Penner was disallowed from standing in the Cayo Northeast constituency that he held for two terms.  At one point, he even faced criminal charges brought in a private prosecution by Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action; though this did not make it past pre-trial stage.  Through it all, Penner has kept a low profile, but recently he has begun making noise about re-entering politics and clearing his name.  Waiting for him in his old stomping grounds of Belmopan will be the glare of television cameras and senators eager to question him about his role in the burgeoning immigration scandal.  Committee member, Senator Eamon Courtenay says Penner will have a lot to answer for.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Special Select Committee

“I have not spoken to Mr. Penner; I understand that for quite some time he has volunteered to persons that he wants to come before the Senate Committee, and that he is quite anxious to come and tell his side of the story. I think Mr. Penner is going to be a very important witness – he is not only going to be called upon to explain his role in the Won Hong Kim matter, but his role, one, as an area representative; his role as a Minister with responsibility for immigration; his role with the carting away of boxes; the illegal – in my view – illegal granting of nationality to many, many persons who remain on the register – we have pictures of him actually doing it, along with his colleagues. So it seems to me that Mr. Penner will be there for quite a while; he has a lot to explain and I am happy to hear that he is coming with a full desire to speak frankly, openly and truthfully, so that we can really get to the bottom of this. So that we can find out how much money Won Hong Kim paid; we can find out the true role of people like Mr. Eric Chang in this. Mr. Penner will have a lot to say. So as the Chairman of the Committee said, under the pain of perjury, he will have a lot of questions to answer and I hope he’s ready.”


News Five will have complete coverage of Penner’s appearance next week Wednesday.

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