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Mar 6, 2020

Redistricting Case Adjourned

Arthur Saldivar

Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today adjourned the redistricting case until next Friday to allow Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, on behalf of Interested Party in the case, Lord Michael Ashcroft, to present affidavits as it relates to the expert witnesses who they are seeking the court to consider to give testimony.  Marshalleck explained, with apology, that the particulars of those expert witnesses are still not available hence he asked the court for an extension to provide those documents.  Chief Benjamin allowed the extension to next Wednesday for the case to resume on March thirteenth. Attorney for the Belize Peace Movement, Arthur Saldivar explained to reporters what is expected next week in court, while Bobby Lopez said he is interested in seeing what the expert witnesses will bring to the table.

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for the Belize Peace Movement

“Next Friday we come back give the court our assessment of the persons who are to be considered to be the court’s expertise–whether we accept them or don’t accept them and on what basis we accept to reject them. Being a good Christian, I believe in the redemptive quality. We believe that all men can be redeemed. In this particular instance, a man, who is seen as taken a lot away from Belize, is looking to give us back something. If he is going to insist by paying for these people, hey, all power to him. We don’t know who the people are yet. He is paying for the expert. That is his contribution.”

 

Bobby Lopez

Bobby Lopez, Belize Peace Movement

“We have our experts. I want to see what different these experts are going to bring that our own homegrown Belizean experts haven’t produced to us. Quite honestly, and what they will be paying fifty-five thousand U.S. for when we could keep that money right here in the country or actually have someone here in Belize being paid that amount. Don’t short change ourselves. We always think that expert has to come from outside. Man we could fix this problem and we have the technology to fix this problem and the expertise, the knowledge, that we can fix this. So we are waiting, we are bidding time; I’ve come to understand that with the court you have to be very patient. I can see that the Chief Justice is a very patient person. But we are confident that in the end, we will get it right.”

 

Lopez informed that the Peace Movement has embarked on a countrywide education campaign on the importance of holding a redistricting exercise before the General Elections.


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