Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2015. 1:45 pm CST.
Thursday, November 12, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Their rivalry in Orange Walk North politics has quickly become one of the most compelling in Belizean politics, but at its root is something deeply personal.
The elections may be over, but Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and PUP rival Ramon Cervantes Jr. are still locked in battle over the death of Don Ramon Cervantes Sr in July of 2014 of which both men have been accused of causing – Vega by one of the alleged executioners who is still on the run of mistakenly ordering it, Cervantes by another in open court of financing it.
Cervantes’ trial for libel began in July of this year and the witness phase closed in September. After a break for politics the oral submissions by the three Senior Counsels in the case began this morning before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.
At its conclusion this afternoon we spoke to Cervantes’ attorney, Said Musa, who believes his client will be exonerated; he said the other side had failed to present evidence that his client had anything to do with the broadcast of alleged libel over Fiesta FM and to the audience at Mameyal Farm last November or even that Cervantes personally perpetuated slander against Vega.
At the heart of that evidence is the CD entered into discussion at trial which purportedly comes from LOVE FM, not Fiesta. Fiesta’s attorney Eamon Courtenay says that no one has been brought to even say that they were at the farm and heard the alleged libel and slander by his client and by Cervantes acting jointly, and so the case has not been proven in that regard.
But Vega’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, says they have done enough to support the case, and that the witnesses they have called, including Vega, have established that there was illegal action at the farm in respect to Vega’s reputation.
The case will be decided on the last day of the Supreme Court’s 2015 term, on December 22. Vega was supported by a cadre of Orange Walk North residents and supporters as he has been from the start of the case.
Vega defeated Cervantes by more than 400 votes in the general election.
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