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Jul 19, 2019

Andre Vega Ordered to Repay G.O.B. $400K!

The son of former U.D.P. Deputy Prime Minister, Andre Vega, has been ordered by the court to return some four hundred thousand dollars to the Government of Belize. The government took Vega to court after he was compensated for a prime piece of land located along mile four of the Philip Goldson Highway, near the Haulover Bridge. The land in question was sold to Vega by Hilmar Alamilla for fifteen thousand dollars at the end of 2013.  The system, however, produced a duplication of titles for the same piece of land which then led the government to take back the land as part of its plans for the area and compensated Vega four hundred thousand dollars. After the matter was reported, public outcry forced the government to seek legal action to recover the public’s money. The case has been before Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel for quite some time now and late this evening, after hearing submissions Justice Abel ruled that Vega is to return the money and that he was unjustly enriched at the expense of the government and people of Belize. Vega was represented by attorney Estevan Perrera.

 

Estevan Perera

Estevan Perera, Attorney for Andre Vega

“The decision was just made by the judge. The judge hasn’t provided us with the written judgment so we can’t really comment on all of the findings of the judge or the reasons why he ultimately made that decision at this point in time.”

 

Reporter

“In your presentation, when the judge asked you who was the Minister of Natural Resources, you replied to him that you did not know who was the Minister of Natural Resources. Were you attempting to mislead the court?”

 

Estevan Perera

“No, there is no such thing as us misleading the court in respect to that question. I think you completely misunderstood that question. When it comes to making a submission to a court, one has to rely on evidence that is provided from the witness box. What we indicated to the court was that in the witness box there was no evidence as to who at the time was the minister involved. It’s hard to be recognized by yourself perhaps because you are not trained in law. One cannot give evidence from the bar table as an attorney. We can only speak to what is said from the witness box so that is the point why I indicated that I cannot to that. It can only be from the witness and that wasn’t provided by the witness.”

 

Reporter

“But the judge was aware of it and made several references to it during his judgment.”

 

Estevan Perera

“Well that is why we are waiting to see what is in the judgment. Again, the purpose for which that was said was to explain that as attorneys from the bar we cannot give evidence and we cannot speak to anything that was provided beyond evidence.”

 

Reporter

“Yes but he was asking you a direct question. “Who was the Minister of Natural Resources at the time of the transaction?” That is what the judge asked you.”

 

Estevan Perera

“No I think you are mistaken as to what the purpose that the question was brought to.”

 

Reporter

“What is your client’s position at this time? Can he return his money?”

 

Estevan Perera

“I haven’t spoken to the client with respect to the return of funds at this point in time. Again, we are waiting for the decision to come out in writing and then we will be going through the judgment, and the contents of the judgment and reasons and we will decide whether or not we will appeal. We do believe that there are many grounds to appeal. And we do believe first instance that we will appeal.”


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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