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Jan 19, 2023

Witness Intimidation and Witness Protection: What is Home Affairs Doing?

Kareem Musa

On the issue of witness intimidation, Minister Musa also spoke about witness protection programs that are being explored with other countries within the region, including Trinidad & Tobago.  First, he shared his view on the video that has been in circulation.


Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“I am very, very, very disturbed, as with the rest of the country.  Very disturbing and concerned when we see situations like this which have developed over many years and I think that is the sort of deep dive conversation that needs to be had.”


April Martinez

“When there are witnesses in these kinds of situations, most of the time people don‘t want to come forward because they are scared.  How is your government, your department, addressing witness protection, in particular those that are immigrants, that have a particular status, they feel already not trusting of the government.  How are we focusing on witness protection?”


Kareem Musa

“That’s certainly a culture that we would want to change.  I know that in particular in Belize City where we do have like gang rivalries being the most common form of threat and criminal activity, in a lot of those cases, people do not want to participate in the process and cooperate.  What we do find out-district is that there is greater participation by witnesses and so, in this particular case, we are encouraging that if it is that this particular individual has information to provide to police, for them to come in and provide that information because it is only through that process that in fact charges can be levied against anyone that is in any way trying to intimidate or thwart the course of justice.  And so, that is absolutely essential.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  But in terms of the strides that we‘ve made over the last few years, we do have a protection of witnesses act that was passed.”

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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