At yesterday’s Senate Select Committee hearing, Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s name came up during the questioning of Ady Pacheco, the former assistant to the Officer in Charge of the Nationality Section. The matter raised has to do with a Belize passport that was issued to the brother-in-law of Kim Simplis-Barrow which the Auditor General’s special audit flagged as not meeting the appropriate requirements by law. The PM and his wife had both signed the document as referee’s. Pacheco, who had processed the documents, said she had been advised that the documents were all in order.


Screen_Shot_2017-06-22_at_8.02.33_PMSenator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Do you know who Peter William Dhalstrom was?


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“I don’t know who he is but the only reason I remembered is because this was the case with the Prime Minister and his wife.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“This was the case with the Prime Minister and his wife, can you explain?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“They signed as referees.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“They were referees for Peter William Dhalstom?


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Yes”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“It says its nationality certificate it was dated the 22.10.2012 and his passport?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Yes, his passport dated 22.10.2012.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Same date, day after the 23rd, so he got nationality one day and the after he got his passport?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Yes”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“And you are the one who had vetted this application Ms. Pacheco?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“I don’t recall.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Let me help you, look at page 173 sub paragraph (4) are you the one who had interviewed this applicant?


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Yes”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“And you made a notation on the minute sheet?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“I made a notation on the interview form.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“On the interview form and what was your notation?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“It was a question that was always asked in the interview form, a standard question that asked if the person qualify for nationality.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“And your notation was that he qualified?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Under Section, yes for citizenship through marriage”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Did you, before making that notation did you conduct any investigation?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Well, I was made to understand that once a person is married to a Belizean that person is deemed to be legal in the country form the date of marriage regardless of their legal status.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“But that provision has a qualification doesn’t it?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Meaning”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Doesn’t that provision that you are referring to only refer to persons who may have entered the country illegally prior to their marriage?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“It’s basically left to interpretation, we were told at the department to look for the date of marriage and we went from there.”


Senator Michel Chebat - Member, Senate Select Committee


“To establish residence, and who told you that?”


Addy Pacheco – Former Assistant to the Officer In Charge of Nationality Section


“Yes and to the best of my knowledge I believe it was Mr. Wade.”

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