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Sep 24, 2020

Eldon Arzu’s Challenge Police Association Election Process Back in Court

Corporal Eldon Arzu’s challenge to the Police Association election process continued on Tuesday. It was expected that the first hearing was to be held then but the matter was adjourned to a later date. Arzu is claiming that Commissioner of Police Chester Williams failed to obey the rules of the Police Association election process. According to Arzu, Williams extended the nomination process after the deadline set by the Police Association’s election rules for elections of the new president of Police Association. Arzu is contending that the election was null and void. He is also contending that a bi-election should have taken place after the elected president Inspector Jane usher was promoted to the rank which disallows her from being a member of the association. Senior counsel Godfrey Smith from Marine Chambers was a part of Tuesday’s court session before Justice Sonya Young. Smith will be joining Crown Counsel Agassi Finnegan as a private representative hired by the Government of Belize. Representing Arzu is Nazira Myles who explained the latest developments in the case. 


On the Phone: Nazira Myles, Attorney for Eldon Arzu

“On Tuesday gone we were supposed to have the first hearing of the claim that was filed, the judicial review claim however it had to be adjourned based on the request by Miss Finnegan who represents the Commissioner as they had sent a letter late on Friday saying that they intend to challenge the validity of the Police Association rules which forms a part of the Police Act stating that in their position it was not validly passed because their position is that the Commissioner of Police is the one who should make the rules. Of course our position is that we strongly disagree and strongly will object to whatever application they file. So they were given permission whatever document they wish to file by thirtieth September. We respond by seventh (October) and then we submit written submission and we do oral submission on the twenty-first of October. If they court is to rule that the act is valid then we move to first hearing on that day. The challenge of the validity of the rule deals with second claim were we are challenging the extension of time which he did for nomination and then the elections which took place June. They have not filed their application yet so I am just going based on the letter were received and what they deem their preliminary objection so I would not want to comment as yet what our position is but it is definitely not their view, the view they share on the letter, that the Commissioner is the one who to make the rule that go attach to the Police Act. That is defienlty not our position. The first hearing there was an attempt of the attorneys to be  a part of the first hearing how rev they have not yet filed their notice of acting however we received such notice of acting today so I can inform you that Marine Parade Chambers will be joining Miss Finnegan in representing the commissioner in his matter. So in addition to that also, Miss Usher has been promoted. She is now an inspector. However it is her position where the rules continues to be broken because it is clear where a member can no longer hold a post as a member of the board there should be a bi-election and the rules are clear that it should take place fourteen days after or nomination should be by fourteen days after. Our records show that she was promoted first July or thereabouts and the departmental orders do not show nomination deadline is until August thirty-first. Even then there was only a notice sent out that the only person who submitted nomination to replace Miss Usher was Sergeant Gilbert Martinez. Even that bi-election was not challenged and a name was simply published in the departmental orders.”

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