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PUP says PM is in contempt of court

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Posted: Monday, February 25, 2019. 8:01 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party (PUP) today issued a statement calling out Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow for his ‘attack’ against a sitting Justice of the Supreme Court.

The PUP says that it regards the Prime Minister’s assault on Justice Abel as deliberate designed to interfere with cases actually before the Judge, to intimidate the wider Judiciary, to scandalize the Court and ultimately undermine the rule of law.

‘Not only did PM Barrow severely criticize Justice Abel, but also referred to tax cases that are before another Justice of the Supreme Court threatening that he would do all that was possible to ensure that the Government wins the cases,’ the PUP says.

The PUP says that it deplores this ‘outrageous contempt of court’ by Barrow and calls on the Chief Justice to report this matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions for appropriate action.

The PUP further calls on the Chief Justice to defend the independence of the judiciary from this hostile attack by the Prime Minister.

The party also warns that any moving of Government cases from Justice Abel to other judges will undermine confidence in the independence of the judiciary and reward the Prime Minister for his contempt.

“The abuse of the Judiciary cannot be tolerated for it attacks the very foundation of our democracy and sets a dangerous precedent when the Executive in any way seeks to interfere with the business of the Courts,” the statement explains.

The PUP also calls on the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice to make public all correspondences between them on this matter and calls on the Chief Justice to assure the public that he will not engage in any negotiation or discussion with the Prime Minister regarding the selection of judges for Government cases.

The party also wants PM Barrow to apologize to Justice Abel for this unprecedented act of bullying and shaming.

The PUP also appeals to civil society, the churches and the social partners to condemn this attack on judiciary by the Prime Minister.

 

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