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Jan 23, 2020

No Request for Ministers’ Names from U.S. Embassy

Kareem Musa

The Lev Dermen saga has been coming up in many ways. At the sitting of the House of Representatives on January seventeenth, Caribbean Shores Area Representative Kareem Musa suggested that the names of the government ministers in question could have been sought through diplomatic channels via a request from the Prime Minister to the U.S. Embassy. But the U.S. Charge d’Affaires Keith Gilges has made it clear that such a request was not in his remit.  Musa, however, in speaking on adjournment, reminded the PM that he has a duty to preserve the sanctity of his office as leader of government and that he should go beyond just inquiring in cabinet whether anyone received dirty money from Lev Dermen.


Kareem Musa, Area Representative, Caribbean Shores [File: January 17th, 2020]

“This scandal that has surfaced regarding Lev Dermen, I mean there‘s a lot.  There‘s Danny Mason, but in relation to the particular scandal that has surfaced I would want to say that your duty as the Prime minister and head of State is to contact the Chargé d‘Affaires of the U.S. Embassy.  I think you need to contact him.  I think you need to contact the State Department because as you and I know in a criminal trial which is the case that Mr. Dermen is going through in the U.S. there is a disclosure and so the names have already been called.  Whether it is that it‘s been sealed in some affidavit or what have you, the names are already out there and so the prime minister owes a duty to this nation, let’s not wait for the trial to happen because the names are out there.  So we need to at least, prime minister, employ your best effort to get that information.  If I could call I would have called but dehn noh wahn give me that information, but as the prime minister and a serious allegation like this, I am sure that they would give you that information.  And also Mr. Prime Minister, your duty to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the Office of Prime Minister, again, it is something very important.  It is not something that we should take very lightly and we just hand it over to any of these two individuals because I believe that it would be a massive mistake.  And then on a final note, in terms of your duty that I see, Mr. Prime Minister, and if I may just share a running joke in Caribbean Shores because I was just campaigning last night and they said…  When I was campaigning one of my constituents said that he got intelligence from inside the Cabinet room when you were going around asking each and every one of the cabinet members, “Did you receive twenty-five thousand U.S. from Lev Dermen and each of them said no, as you said.  But one of the ministers turned to another and said, ‘Family, the public di seh dat da you da di one weh get it you know, how you just di tell di man no?”  He responded, the minister responded to say, “I noh di lie, you know, I said no because I did not get twenty-five thousand U.S., I get twenty-seven thousand U.S.  It’s just to say Mr. Prime Minister that there’s been a lot of play with technicalities so we have to be very clear when we come to the Belizean people.  We have to be clear with the line of questioning because some ah dehn ya guys da bush lawyer.  So yoh haftu ask dehn point blank, yoh get any money from this man?  So yoh cyant just put it twenty-five thousand U.S. because dehn might seh well with conversion rate ah get twenty-seven thousand, eight hundred.”

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