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Jul 1, 2008

City resident evicted from land, house dismantled

Story PictureSince Monday night through to this morning, the dwelling of George Betson at mile two on the Northern Highway was dismantled at the instructions of Supreme Court Marshals and the Police Department. The removal of the house follows a Court of Appeals ruling made two weeks ago that Betson had no right to the land since he did not have a valid lease. Betson’s battle over the two hundred and fifty by one hundred foot piece of land dates back as far as 2001 when he lost his lease to Rupert Marin. Betson fought the cancellation and Supreme Court Justice, Lugole Awich initially ruled in his favour, but the Appeals Court overturned that ruling two weeks ago in Marin’s favour. Under his lease, Betson had access to the land for a maximum of twenty-five years, but was given three years within which to construct a permanent structure on it. Today he admitted that he did not adhere to that stipulation, nor did he obey the Court of Appeals order to vacate the premises.

George Betson, evicted from land
“I didn’t really did that but however, I fill, I had here filled. They fill on top of my fill to impress like I haven’t did anything. But this place was filled and they fill on top of what I already had here.”

Marion Ali
“I think the lease stipulates clearly that you should show some developmental work on the property.”

George Betson
“I did what I could have did and filling is very expensive.”

Marion Ali
“You never thought of approaching a bank and maybe …”

George Betson
“When I put the first five truck load a stuff right here the water just grazed over the top like that.”

Marion Ali
“I’m asking if you never …”

George Betson
“I never approached no banks.”

Betson said he was never aware of the Appeals Court decision and only received a formal eviction notice on Saturday when Court marshals delivered the document. He says he believes that because he has occupied the place since 1973, his rights have been denied. That claim is based on an agreement he had made with the Lands Department in 2000 to purchase the land and pay for it in installments. That arrangement, however, was cancelled two months later. And tonight Betson is looking for a place to sleep. His attorney, Hubert Elrington and Marin’s attorney, Magali Marin, were both unavailable for comment.

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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