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Court throws out case against Dion Zabaneh

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019. 9:37 pm CST.

 

By BBN Staff: The case brought against Dion Zabaneh by the Department of the Environment (DOE) because of development on a piece of property on Sea Shore Drive in Belize city was thrown out in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Zabaneh appeared in court with his mother, Primrose Gaboural, the owner of the property in question. They were represented by their attorney Emil Arguelles. The DOE, however, had written to the court requesting that the charges against Zabaneh and Gabourel be withdrawn. The letter was signed by DOE Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria.

In court, Arguelles filed a submission for the case to be dismissed. The Senior Magistrate accepted the submission and dismissed the case against the mother and son. The pair had been charged with failure to obtain environmental clearance prior to development activity, failure to comply with an enforcement notice, and proceeding with a project without complying with environmental clearance. Zabaneh had additionally been charged with hindering or obstructing an officer in the conduct of his duties following a dispute with a police officer when DOE had visited the location trying to stop the development.

Arguelles also told the media that his clients are free to continue developing their property as they had originally maintained. The development of the property raised concern from residents in the area because the lot goes into the sea and Zabaneh had been reclaiming the property by filling the sea bed. Some residents became upset because their own sea front property would be lost to the land being reclaimed by Zabaneh’s property.

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