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Mar 18, 2020

No Judicial Relief Prior to Thirty-day Incarceration

Michael Peyrefitte

It is expected that of the eighty-two persons, who are presently in custody and are headed to the Belize Central Prison for the next thirty days, a number of them—through their respective attorneys—will be seeking judicial relief via the Supreme Court.  They will likely be applying for bail.  But Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte told the media at a press conference today that the month-long detention is fixed and that applications for bail will only be entertained once those thirty days have elapsed.


Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“As a former defense attorney myself who the police know very well, the attorneys must also be true and honest with their clients.  As officers of the court they must be true and honest with the public, the regulations are stiff, yes, don‘t sell your clients dreams.  If these people are detained under the present state of emergency they will not get any bail, they will not get any judicial relief for at least thirty days.  The attorneys cannot come to the police station nor go to the prison with the promise that they can just take somebody out and if they can‘t take somebody out then there is massive blowback and complaints.  Be honest with your client.  If you are detained during this period it will be for at least thirty days, you in seven days will know what you are being detained for.  Within fourteen days your picture and your information will be made public and then after that thirty-day period that‘s when the usual judicial process opens up.  So if there‘s any complaint within thirty days, it‘s just complaint for complaint‘s sake, but they should be honest with their clients.”

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