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Sep 25, 2020

Wheels of Justice Turning Slow for Former Cop Anthony Polonio

The wheels of justice are turning slow for a former cop.  Back in 2008, Anthony Polonia was found guilty of perjury by a Police Tribunal in a sensational case of murder turned manslaughter involving the now deceased Ben Bou-Nahra and he was removed from the department. Polonio was one of the cops who reportedly developed amnesia; he was subsequently acquitted of the charge, but was never reinstated. He sued the government for compensation seven years ago, but Polonio says he still cannot get justice now at age fifty-nine. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Anthony Polonio was one of three officers that was charged with perjury back in 2007 after they allegedly developed amnesia in a high profile murder case against Belize City businessman Chayben Bou-Nahra, who was charged back in 2005 for the shooting death of Shawn Copious. The then Sergeant Polonio along with Inspector Clement Cacho and Constable Darius Ramos all dealt with Bou-Nahra on the morning of September seventeenth, 2005—either at the crime scene of Bou-Nahra’s home or at the police station. But when the case went to trial, the officers reportedly developed a case of amnesia; this was after the charge had been reduced to manslaughter and Bou-Nahra’s caution station disappeared. All three officers were found guilty and dismissed from the department. An appeal was filed and five years later, they were acquitted of the crime; by that time PC Ramos had already died and Cacho was re-instated into the department. But the same was not afforded to Polonio, who was then forty-six years old. So Polonio sued the government. Seven years later the civil suit is still before the courts.


Anthony Polonia

Anthony Polonio, Seeking Compensation from G.O.B.

“In February 2013, my trial for perjury in the Supreme Court began and concluded before Justice Traodio Gonzalez. I alone was tried; PC Ramos had died before the trial. I won my case by being acquitted and was not still reinstated. I decided then to sue the Police Department and the Government of Belize in March 2013.”


A series of unfortunate events had Polonio filing a complaint against an attorney before the Bar Association of Belize.


Anthony Polonio

“On the eighteenth of July 2018, I made a formal complaint to the Belize Bar Association concerning Alifa Elrington Hyde.  On an affidavit, I accused Miss Hyde for failing to deliver personal legal services to me, her client. On the twenty-ninth of the eleventh month, November 2019 the bar Association held a tribunal in connection with the same matter for which I was summoned and I attended. At the very tribunal, I could have seen that Miss Hyde had her attorney, Miss Lisa Shoman and I was without any attorney. The CJ was the person presiding over the same tribunal. The documents I was now given was a copy of the civil suit in connection with my case against G.O.B.”


The court had ordered mediation for a settlement to be reached, but that process failed and that is where it is. In November 2019 all parties returned to court, but the matter was adjourned. Now due to the COVID-19 situation a new date has not been set.


Anthony Polonio

“The mediation was held, but it would seem that the very same mediation had failed even when the attorney for the government side had mentioned that she would have to talk to the financial secretary and the commissioner of police in respect to what would have sound like some kind of settlement. Because of the COVID-19 situation, he couldn’t get nothing in connection with any kinda adjournment or next court date and this got us concerned because our case is like a floating boat—thank god it is alive—and getting justice against the Government of Belize seems to be an impossible one.”


Catherine Polonio

Catherine Polonio, Wife of Anthony Polonio

“We went through a lot and we were strong. But at the end of the day, I told him when we come out of this; it is a learning lesson so that we can get stronger.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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