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Mar 31, 2020

Attorney Arthur Saldivar Arrested by Belmopan Police

Arthur Saldivar

Tonight attorney Arthur Saldivar remains at the Belmopan Police Station in lockdown. Saldivar’s legal woes began over a Facebook post over the weekend. He was held by the police and eventually released, but on Monday night, the long arms of the law were back at his house. The outspoken critic is now being detained for an unlicensed firearm, but he is yet to be charged, which means that he will spend night two in a cell.  Dickie Bradley, the attorney for Saldivar, says the detention is illegal and he will move the court to act. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Controversial attorney Arthur Saldivar remains in a Belmopan holding cell tonight. He is being held on charges for an unlicensed firearm. His house was searched for hours by police officers on Monday which led to his arrest. He has yet to be charged and sits in a jail cell while his attorney Richard Dickie Bradley repeatedly attempts to understand the delay.


Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney for Arthur Saldivar

“The delay can be spelled in the word malice. It is just malicious. It is just a man who you can’t be muzzled. A man who has a history of speaking his mind. A man who is not afraid of controversy. A man who is not afraid of tackling anybody in high office.”


Saldivar’s legal woes started from a Facebook Live video, which he did on Saturday, claiming that a U.D.P. politician was facilitating the entry of a group of persons, including non-Belizeans, into the country via the northern border. He was arrested and charged for ‘spreading false news.’ A day later, however, the government amended the quarantine measures saying that “any Belizean entering Belize from any country through any official port of entry or caught attempting to enter via any blind spot will be placed in a mandatory quarantine.”


Williams Jones, Uncle of Arthur Saldivar

“I believe it is all about the Facebook post. It has to be.”


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“Mister Saldivar had been brought to the police station. He was kept here and all the lawyers where calling and we appreciate that he decided on a minor charge that he was spreading, some stupid charge which will not hold up in court that you will charge a man of that nature for saying that people were being brought in through the northern border when lo and behold on the very Sunday thereafter there is a formal public release from the government acknowledging that people are coming through there. It is stupid my boy.”


Saldivar pleaded not guilty to the minor charge. He has yet to be charged and arraigned on the firearm offenses.


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“Yesterday for over three hours in the night while a large contingent of police officers conducted a search. It is my understanding that search turned up two further weapons which are duly, lawfully legally license in a family member’s name because Arthur is staying at the family residence in Camalote. Mister Saldivar was brought back to the Belmopan police station where he continues to languish in one of those filthy dirty cells for which the police department has become so infamous for. He is being held on the allegation that his personal firearm is not a licenses firearm. It was always license but the licensing procedure has fallen behind or at least that is the allegation. His basic counter to that allegation is that he holds a formal government receipt that he has he has paid to the Government of Belize for his license.”
Hipolito Novelo

“Sir regardless of the reason, shouldn’t it have been his responsibility to keep up to date with the gun license?”


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“Yes, but if you are driving a vehicle when they stop you at the check point and when the police says that you license up from yesterday. Oh mien it slipped me. That makes you a criminal? That makes you that they can keep you in a cage like criminal?  Is that how we want to treat our citizens?”



“How long was his license up?”


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“My understanding is that it was several weeks that it was expired.”


And the police’s time to charge Saldivar is about to expire.


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“The constitution was amended to say maximum two days. The police must take a person to court no later than forty years. Anybody who goes to law school knows that that does not mean that you keep somebody there until forty seven hours and then release. That doesn’t mean that you could have charge me yesterday but hold me until tonight and then charge me to go court. It means you use your head. No matter what, not even coronavirus, a person is not to be held beyond forty eight hours.   Mister Saldivar could have been charged this morning and brought to the Belmopan court. He could have been charge later in the morning. He could have been charge even up until now two o’clock when the magistrate court closes for the day because of the new protocols as a result of the virus.”


Hipolito Novelo

“If he is detained longer, is there any legal route that you can take to go to the Supreme Court to have him released?”


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“Most certainly. We are going to prepare for that tomorrow.  If for some unforeseen reason he is not granted bail papers are already prepared to go to the Supreme Court and get bail for Mister Saldivar.”


Bradley says that Saldivar’s arrest is politically motivated.


Richard “Dickie” Bradley

“As things now stand he is basically the equivalent of a political prisoner, sitting I a police station for which he has not been charge and for which it is gun charge you don’t need any complicated investigation. This man has no history of violence. This man has no history of threatening anybody. This man has not fired a shot at anyone. That is how you threat him? That is how you threat a citizen of you country? To deprive you of your freedom? They treat you like you are some kind of potlicker dog locked up inside a dirty filthy cell? That is how we treat our people? Because he is Arthur Saldivar? Because he likes to talk and run off his mouth? Can you imagine what they will do with some other people if they get their hands on them?”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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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