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Screen_Shot_2017-06-20_at_8.07.26_PMYesterday we gave you details of what seemed like a wild spree last Friday by the two sons of UDP Minister Edmond Castro that started in Belize City with an altercation with Police Officers. The Castro boys, Jafari and Wasani, had been detained for assaulting three Police officers in the wee hours of Friday morning after the officers attempted to detain them for traffic violations. The duo was eventually released and in the evening they were caught in Orange Walk hauling almost 90 cases of illegal Corona beers by Customs officials.

While Customs have settled the contraband matter with a still unknown fine that had to be paid forthwith, the matter with the Police has not, and has actually become a major scandal.

The incident was not known to the media or public until what seem like legit Police documents including a recorded statement and a Police prosecution file were leaked to the press, giving the impression that despite attempts to prosecute the Castro boys, they went off scotch free. These documents show that the arresting Police officer Shelrick Caliz had given a statement and had requested prosecution, but today Castro’s attorney, Herbert Panton, went to bat for his clients providing details of the case to contradict the documents and the notion that they were to be charged.

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Castro

“The first part of the story says that they were charged at that would be Precinct #3 I believe and then were transported to Precinct #2, if that were the case nine o’clock in the morning they would have been transported to the magistrates court to be arraigned that did not happened, I got called around nine thirty to ten I did not got there until after eleven that morning that would be Friday because they were detained Thursday night, I got to the Raccoon Police Station after eleven Friday morning at that time no charged had been levied against anybody and as I said if what people are alleging out there that they were charged in the Precinct #3 police station then they would have been taken to court at nine in the morning that is the normal process. The fact that they were there after nine means that they were not charged, what transpired thereafter is that efforts were made to see if the matter could be dealt with and terminated there, after those efforts were concluded Chester Williams said to us that he is not the arresting officer and the arresting officer has indicated that he will proceed to charge the gentlemen. At which time I asked for medical legal forms to be issued to them because they were properly battered and bruised, they obviously had been beaten and they were beaten while in custody, that was plain to be seen and so I asked that medical legal forms be issued to them ad be taken to the hospital because obviously a counter claim would ensue.  I left the station and went home and was in the middle of my lunch when I got a call to return to the station and when I returned there the officer indicated that he had had a change of heart and that he no longer wish to proceed and he requested that the same be done on the part of the Castro brothers that they would not levy any complaint against any of the officers so it wasn’t any Senior officer doing anything it was a fundamental I will not press charges against you and you will not press charges against me and my colleagues because we only spoke to the officer who detained them but there was various people who took part in the beating of these young men so he spoke for all of them but it wasn’t that any senior officer intervene it was the same officer that detained them and that officer indicated he would not be bringing charges and asked that they do not make any complaint to bring any charges.”

But if Panton’s version of the occurrences is true, then how does it explain the fact that documents were leaked to the media? The lawyer actually had an answer.

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Castro

“There’s a simple way to explain it one bad mind, ridiculous police officer that is all I can say because as I told you the only way there could be charge sheet is if the police informed the gentlemen about their rights, explain what they are being arrested for and arrest and charge them thereafter they are been given the what is called the Information and Compliant, local parliament speak of it as the charge sheet, when they are given that it is then that the court book is prepared because the court book is prepared in duplicate; one copy goes to the prosecutor and one goes to the magistrate when they go to the magistrate to be arraigned, if you look at that court book in the corner there supposed to bear a URL which speaks from what Precinct originated from, there is no such designation on that such court book some idle bad mind police sat down and created that thing and leaked it to the media, none of the Castro brothers were charged with anything up until twelve thirty quarter to one in the afternoon when they were never charged.”

Panton also discussed reports that the charge information also appears on the Police’s SIMIS – the internal data and report information system.

Screen_Shot_2017-06-20_at_8.07.44_PMHerbert Panton - Attorney for Castro

“Whatever is on the Police network, I saw no less that Chester Williams is about the authenticity of that so that if he, at his level can do that I can’t speak of what is in the control of the police and how put whatever they do on their network, I can tell you unless the police is lying to me when I entered the station the first question are these gentlemen charged and the response was no, I got there as I said about eleven in the morning and I left there closer to one when I left they left with me and they were not charged so where charging comes from and any influence by any senior officer comes from I wouldn’t know, didn’t happen under my watch, didn’t see it.”

We will continue to follow this latest Castro controversy very closely.

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