COLA appeal of Penner case in court Friday

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Kenneth Benjamin

Kenneth Benjamin

Tuesday, February 10, 2015. AARON HUMES Reporting: On Friday Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is to hear a rare Inferior Court Appeal between Geovannie Brackett, president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and advisor Nedal ‘Jihad’ McLaren, and Cayo Northeast area representative and former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner.

Hon. Elvin Penner (Cayo Northeast Representative)

Hon. Elvin Penner
(Cayo Northeast Representative)

In June of 2014, Penner’s summary charges related to the Kim Won Hong passport scandal were dismissed after Magistrate Aretha Ford declined to allow the summoning of Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to court under Section 30 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Act for him to deliver evidence in his possession relating to Penner and the Kim scandal.

This was in furtherance of the Chief Justice’s own order for writ of mandamus ordering further investigation into the matter in March.

Giovanni Brackett (President, COLA)

Giovanni Brackett
(President, COLA)

According to Brackett and McLaren’s attorney Kareem Musa, the “many statements” taken in the case by Police were not turned over to Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal or to COLA for its private prosecution.

According to Musa, Belizeans still want to see justice in the case and so he hopes that the ship has not sailed.

There is no statute of limitation on charges against Penner under Section 178 of the Indictable Procedure Act and it is up to DPP Vidal to make that decision, which she has yet to make.

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