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“Sick-out” by prosecutors halts opening of High Court session

Posted: Monday, September 18, 2023. 10:51 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Credible reports to Breaking Belize News say the entire staff of prosecutors within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions have called in sick, delaying the opening of the late year session of the High Court in its Criminal Jurisdiction.

While a formal statement has not been issued, best information suggests that this tactic is related to the prosecutors’ ongoing fight for better working conditions in an already thankless job.

Among the things being asked for are increased security due to rising threats from the criminal element to prosecutors and witnesses, exemplified in the case of Iran “Basco” Jones who disappeared and was later found murdered after testifying in a murder case.

Salaries are also a concern, especially considering reports that new legal assistants for the High Court have been hired at greater salaries than those paid to members of the DPP’s office.

One thing is for sure and that is that if this effort continues, the work of half of the High Court absolutely grinds to a halt, prolonging already heavy backlogs in cases. We continue to follow up on developments.

 

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