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May 16, 2019

Espat’s Unlawful Ejection to be Heard Before the Supreme Court

Julius Espat

This afternoon, we spoke with Espat who explained that there is merit to the claim that his constitutional rights were indeed violated when he was forcefully kicked out of the House meeting that Friday.

 

Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South

“From the day it happened, we have been confident that it was not handled properly.  That’s the reason I did not come out of the House because the rules and regulations and the standing orders within the House were not followed.  If you can recall going back to the footage, I even, Prime Minister Musa and myself were in conversation during that time and as the senior leader on our side he had told me that the rules and regulations were not being followed and he had stated it and showed me the standing order.  So we were confident from that time.  When we took the claim to court, government’s defense, and only defense, was that the judiciary did not have any authority to make decisions of parliament and the legislature, meaning that the Speaker’s decision was final and the judge’s had no ability to change that.  And so that was their only defense.  So the Chief Justice at the time decided that he wouldn’t hear the claim because of that specific issue.  Again we did not agree so we went to the second level which was the appeal’s court and basically the appeal’s court struck down that.  Based on all the evidence that our senior attorney [Andrew] Marshalleck had provided and that’s why I insist that precedence is important to be set.  There is precedence in the Commonwealth that it can be heard.  You have to understand that my rights as a Belizean citizen and as a sitting parliamentarian were affected in the House, one and two, my constitutional rights were also affected.  And so, on that basis the appeals court decided that one: the judge erred in his decision and two: that they are giving an order to the Supreme Court to hear the case again, but the only difference this time is that it be presided over by a different judge.  They haven’t specified which judge.  To us that’s comfortable because then all we have to do now is resubmit our claim and then government has to now come up with a different defense and I don’t know what defense they will come up with because it is quite clear that the procedure was not followed.  There was no vote in the House and that has to be done.”


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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