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Oct 3, 2013

Senator Shoman says criminal investigation is up to D.P.P. and not the P.M.

There is public outcry for a criminal investigation into the issuance of the nationality certificate and Belizean passport obtained by South Korean national Kim Wonhong, while he was in detention. On Wednesday following a meeting with ousted Minister of State, Elvin Penner, Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s view was that there is no need for a criminal investigation. The statement by the prime minister is raising further questions. According to opposition senator and attorney, Lisa Shoman, the prime Minister should not be “lawyering” because the decision to initiate a criminal investigation does not rest in the purview of the P.M.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: October 2nd, 2013]

Dean Barrow

“Penner was obliged to resign by me.  In fact, the letter, I believe, has now gone to the Governor General and, in effect, he was removed from the ministry by me.  And so I think that he has been properly punished for his role in the incident but I also said, both as a lawyer and as head of the government, I looked at the circumstances as closely and as fairly and as critically as I could and I am satisfied that there is no basis on which any criminal charges could successfully be laid.  There is no evidence at all that could sustain a criminal prosecution against Penner.  That is my position and I am telling you that that position doesn’t come about because I am in anyway trying to protect Penner.  He has been removed.  He has, in effect, been fired.  Under the requirements, a person being given a passport ought to appear in person and have his picture taken.  The fact that that person did not appear, I am saying that that does not advance the matter because we always knew that, because we knew that the person to whom the passport was issued was in jail in Taiwan.  The people in the immigration department who, nevertheless, issued the passport without the person, the recipient of the passport appearing to have his picture taken, appearing to make the application in person.  Those persons now have to answer.  But how does that make it any worse for Penner?  It is bad enough as it is and I have acted but how does that make it any worse?”


Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“The D.P.P. does not wait for citizens to call her to wait for a complaint. The D.P.P.’s office is under the constitution independent of any direction which is why I am so concerned by the prime minister’s statement yesterday that it is his quote, unquote, position that there are no criminal charges to be laid because that is not really his responsibility. In fact it is not his responsibility at all; it is the responsibility of the D.P.P. and it is the D.P.P. that has to do it likewise in the same manner. Looking through the constitution to see what the responsibility of the senate is in this matter.  We now know that the passport picture had a problem; the allegation that the system was breached; the clear indication that there are people at the passport involved and the additional problems that arise when we are being told by no less than senator Hulse, Minister of Immigration, that there is problems with the nationality certificate file that has gone missing and that according to the honorable Elvin penner, he was the one who gave back the file. Who did you give back the file to? What was in that file? And the people at nationality at the very least should be able to tell Belizeans what were the supporting documents or proofs in order to have issued that nationality. And William and Marleni, if I could come up with that question just like that; these are the questions that every Belizeans have man. That has to trigger the D.P.P. to say there is something here and it must be investigated.  I used the privilege of raising a matter of urgent public importance and I said, the senate has this power under the constitution. And it’s more than power; it’s a function of the senate. We are supposed to investigate and inquire into any criminal wrongdoing or wrongdoing of the government and any governmental authority. If this passport and nationality scandal doesn’t fit that then I don’t know what does. And if it is our function to do this, then we need to get it done.”

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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8 Responses for “Senator Shoman says criminal investigation is up to D.P.P. and not the P.M.”

  1. RedBwai says:

    Barrow is a dictator!!…his words alone is considered law in his eyes…its his way or no way at all!!…lawyers cannot be trusted…especially the PM

  2. belizeanheat says:

    So I guess that statement written in big bold letters at the bottom of almost every government application form that says “IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE TO KNOWINGLY PROVIDE FALSE INFORMATION” means nothing in Belize.

  3. Love says:

    PM , where are the WORDS…WE NO HAVE NOTHING FE HIDE? We need to know how your boys got so rich in just 4 little years. We need a special committee, consisting of Interpol, Scotland Yard, FBI…. to investigate Penner, Montero, John, Gapi, Boots, Contreras and the whole shebang! THESE MEN ARE NOT HIDING THEIR RICHES AND, not a word from FIU, income tax, police department, and BARROW, with his two sided machete! Of course we know how your family d rake the money…lol…dem work fe it, and d get d millions. Is it called NEPOTISM? Help us here with the word, cause we know you good with words.

  4. Ragadre says:

    Come on Shoman. dont you know who runs the DPP. be realistic now!! as usual nothing going to happen.

  5. hard woking Belizean says:

    Only in Belize…..such a shame & disgrace! We are already targeted as intransit for big drug Lords and their drugs and now THIS!!! How much more will we as humans and most importantly as Belizeans endure??!!!

  6. melvin says:

    WELL,WELL SRT8 FROM THE DONKEY’S mouth? he done said it and if the Belizean people no do noting for ur country dean barrow has fooled uno againnnnnnn,the media should continue to pressure the PM,DPP,POLICE DEPT although i believe that while dean barrow is the government and the leader of the corrupt UDP party,he tells the police dept,the DPP,etc to do as he wishes.and we all know that.-that is corruption in alllll government ministries. the people have the power.

  7. Al says:

    The Prime Minister acts this way, how else should we have expected Penner to act? Just as arrogant and above the law.

  8. Ben says:

    Interference in a possible criminal matter by the Prime Minister could well render him liable to arrest and being charged with interfering with the course of justice.

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