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Jun 5, 2023

Senate Debates and Turns Back Special Prosecution Bill

Today the Senate met and debated three matters of national interest in Belmopan. One of them was the Special Prosecution Bill, which proposes to amend the laws of Belize to allow the Attorney General to make instructions for revisions of the laws of Belize on an interim basis. The Bill was proposed four months after the Belmopan New Year’s Eve triple murder of brothers, David and Jon Ramnarace and Jon’s wife, Vivian Ramnarace. In that incident, news emerged that the husband of the D.P.P, Marco Vidal, had gone and made inquiries of a surveillance recording that captured the perpetrator of that incident. And because he is a relative of the accused killer, former police corporal, Elmer Nah, and also the husband of the D.P.P, the passage of this bill would have allowed for that special prosecutor to act independent of the D.P.P.’s office. But it is a rare occasion that a piece of legislation has not received support from a majority in the upper house.  Today, it was voted down in the Senate. Lead Senator for the Opposition, Michael Peyrefitte in his debate of the bill, explained why he could not support it. 


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Lead Opposition Senator

“On this piece of legislation that the government is trying to pass, the government knocked their head. We really have to wonder what this government is thinking about and what are your thought processes. (Reading) “Special prosecutor who has an independent status within the scope of a specific case in the investigation of crime and institution of public prosecution.” Madam President gets really bad. Now, this prosecutor gets triggered under two circumstances. Section three A, a case where the National Assembly, by resolution determines that an investigation be conducted in the interest of political neutrality or impartiality. But Madam President, the National Assembly is nothing but partiality. That’s why you have opposition. You have government. This is a partial debate environment. How can the National Assembly now, say – da nuh many times I speechless you know, Madam President? “We hereby table a bill, we hereby table bill so that Collet Montejo can be prosecuted for such and such a crime. And then there’ss debate, there’s president and all one in favor say aye, aye. All those in favor say no. Cause you’re the most likely person to be prosecuted, sir. Then Madam  President, when the House done pass that it comes to the Senate. It comes to the Senate. Madam President and your presidency will have to preside over whether or not we should send to the Governor General that we have voted to prosecute someone, with necessarily no evidence or anything like that. So all of a sudden, no, we become investigators.”

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