Attorney General doesn’t want to know who will replace Chief Magistrate

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Posted: Saturday, July 29, 2017. 8:47 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte is taking a hands off approach to who will replace Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.

Peyrefitte said that he is staying out of the process, and is only concerned with the end result, when a recommendation is made to the Prime Minister for a replacement.

“I purposely do not want to have any knowledge of the proceedings or what’s happening there, because I do not want it to even be said that somehow the government is trying to influence from the very beginning this selection process by the judicial and legal services commission,” Perefitte said.

As BBN reported back in May, Smith is leaving Belize, to pursue another appointment within the Caribbean. Smith, a Jamaican with almost 30 years in the legal field, will be moving on to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in St. Lucia,where she has some history.

Smith, who replaced former Chief Magistrate Margaret McKenzie in 2011, once served as a magistrate in St. Lucia, where she had a reputation for being tough on criminals. She left the post after being shot in 2010.

At her new post she will meet up with Belize’s Godfrey Smith who is also a judge on that court.

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