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Feb 26, 2014

Court grants P.U.P.’s application to seek Judicial Review

The People’s United Party wants former Minister of State Elvin Penner to be held criminally liable for his role in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. Just as vehemently, the United Democratic Party has shielded Penner from any criminal scrutiny. The P.U.P. tried the recall petition, and that was blocked by the Elections and Boundaries Department. The P.U.P. tried to implore Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to initiate criminal proceedings against Penner, and they were ignored by Whylie. So now, the P.U.P. is asking the Supreme Court to step in and direct the ComPol to do what they are calling his duty and obligation. It’s a giant leap, but today the party was given leave to take the first step. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning ruled that the party is allowed to seek judicial review. For P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca, it is victory of sorts, but bittersweet nonetheless.


Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

Francis Fonseca

“We are very pleased that we have crossed the first hurdle. Today was an application seeking leave from the court to apply for judicial review of what we view as the Commissioner of Police’s refusal to carry out an investigation into this matter. So we are very, very pleased that we have crossed that first hurdle. The Chief Justice has ruled and granted leave for us to pursue this matter further. He has ruled and ordered that the matter will be heard on Friday at ten o’clock so we are to file our application today by four o’clock. The respondent, the Commissioner of Police, has until tomorrow afternoon at four pm to respond to our application and then the matter has been set down for hearing as I said on Friday at ten o’clock. Today is a sad day for the rule of law in Belize. It’s a sad day for democracy and frankly I am very angry that we have reached to this very low point when we in the People’s United Party have had to come to court to effectively seek to force the government of the day, to force the state and the Commissioner of Police to act in the best interest of the Belizean people. It is the sworn duty and obligation of the Commissioner of Police to investigate any matter where there is evidence of criminal activity. The entire country has been speaking out on this matter for more than five months. It has been more than five months since this matter came to the public eye, and there has not been any investigation of Mr. Penner’s conduct. There has not been any investigation into this U.D.P. immigration scandal and so while we are pleased with the decision today, we have to be sad that we have reached this low point.”


Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn-Vidal has been named as an interested party in the application for judicial review. The hearing is set for Friday.

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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2 Responses for “Court grants P.U.P.’s application to seek Judicial Review”

  1. Ali BaBarrow, ring leader says:

    Allen Whylie is pretty busy these days.

    Ask ALI to investigate.

    meantime, shred, shred, shred those documents.
    POOF! no proof!!
    all good, the 40 thieves sleep well as their master bids.

  2. CEO says:

    No one that did what Penner did should go free without even a review. Good move! Let’s make it happen!

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