The private prosecution against disgraced former Minister Elvin Penner, viewers may recall took an undesired turn for the prosecutor, COLA, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action. Elvin Penner, as the public can recall, is accused of facilitating the issuance of a Belizean passport to South Korean criminal, Won Hong Kim while he was in prison. The private prosecution began on March 27th in Belmopan and Penner was charged with two immigration offenses but on July 24th the case was struck out on the basis of a lack of evidence. While the case was in court however, the COLA had clamored that government bring back and hand over the passport that had been issued to Won Hong Kim. That never happened but that passport is now back in the country. Will this now make a stronger case for the organization which has appealed the decision? We spoke with Geovannie Brackett, President of COLA on the matter.
“As you would recall we have twenty one days after the magistrate gave her judgment, the last case in Belmopan and through our attorney we went ahead to appeal her judgment and right now we are currently awaiting for the appeal to be called and so we challenge that or her decision and hopefully that on the Supreme Court level that we would be granted the right to summon witnesses such as the commissioner of police, such as the minister of immigration, these are individuals who are in possession of important material and evidence to the case.”
Dalila Ical – Reporter
“It is a little bit after that space that you guys had to present these and now we understand that the passport that you had been calling for quite some time is in Belize, anything that you guys are planning to do because of that now?”
“The truth of the matter is that if we are not to be granted the appeal there is nothing much that we can do because we can only lodge a private prosecution under a summary offence which is a minor matter but anything that is above that it is the DPP that be in possession or to lay those charges and before she went to have believe that, they stated to the media categorically that there is a charged that can be laid that has no statute of limitation so we would have to advocate that the DPP takes up that matter and to lay the charged because the passport is indeed a very valuable material evidence in this whole scenario.”
According to Brackett, it is too premature to comment on what may be the outcome of the situation and will have to take it one step at a time.
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