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Jan 27, 2003

Case dismissed against fishing co-op

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Viewers may recall that on October twenty-fourth fisheries officers were busy in Belize City making arrests for the possession of undersized conch. One case against a family of Sarteneja fishermen quickly resulted in a conviction, but the other–against the Northern Fishermen Co-op–could not seem to find judicial traction… until today that is, when the charges were dismissed. Without going into too much detail, it seems that the original summons was defective and that attempts to correct the problem were inadequate. It also didn’t help that the prosecution’s main witness, fisheries officer Randolph Coleman, was today working at sea and that even if he was in court, it is not certain that he properly informed the co-op’s management that he had discovered the undersized conch–over sixteen hundred of them–on their premises. Fisheries prosecutor, Errol Diaz, told News 5 that he would try to somehow have the case re-opened, but defence attorney Emile Arguelles told us that once a case is dismissed that’s it. In case you were wondering, the three Sarteneja fishermen, who faced the court without the services so ably provided by Mr. Arguelles, were fined over fourteen thousand dollars each.


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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