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Home » Trials » Primrose Gabourel, Dion Zabaneh vs. D.O.E. Continues before the Courts
Nov 6, 2019

Primrose Gabourel, Dion Zabaneh vs. D.O.E. Continues before the Courts

Today, the case between seventy-three-year-old Primrose Gabourel and her son, forty-three-year-old Dion Zabaneh and the Department of the Environment, continued before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. The mother and son are being charged with several offences including failure to obtain environmental clearance, hindering an officer in relation to his duties, and failure to comply with a stop order. The charges are in relation to parcel 4670, which is a property located on the seabed at one end of Seashore Drive in Belize City. In January of this year, D.O.E. and the Gang Suppression Unit enforced a stop order for Zabaneh to cease and desist from developing the property. In today’s court proceedings, Anthony Mai, an Environmental Officer testified to issuing the oral stop order.  After court, Jevon Hulse, the legal counsel for the D.O.E., spoke to the media about what transpired.

 

Jevon Hulse

Jevon Hulse, Legal Counsel, Ministry of Environment

“The Environmental Protection Act is very clear insofar as the powers it gives to officers in that it gives officers similar to police to arrest, detain and charge for environmental offences. So the law is clear.”

 

Reporter

“Mr. Arguelles also stated that Mr. Mai had basically acted ultra vires by throwing these people off their land and Mr. Mai actually agreed to that.”

 

Jevon Hulse

“Well that is a matter of their opinion because like I said the law is very clear in what empowers the officers to do. You have the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute,, sister entity that works with t he Department of Environment from time to time and general in issue that relate to the coastal environment the DOE will work with the Coastal management authority. In this instance the issue was, the question was whether DOE contacted or work with Coastal Zone and Mr. Mai commented no. Why? Because for us to have work with Coastal Zone we would have been going through the process. The issue with this and that is before the court is that it did not go through the process. So the opportunity t work together did not arise. DOE stopped it so that it can guide it through the process and that is the issue that is before the court.”

 

Gabourel and Zabaneh are being represented by attorney Emil Arguelles. The case was adjourned to January twenty-second, 2020.


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