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Court to decide whether alleged vehicle scam theft trial will be on indictment or summary

Posted: Thursday, October 26, 2023. 9:54 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Mexican nationals, Alejandro Jair Gonzalez Vasquez, 28, and Carlos Francisco Morales Jara, 37, continue to sweat it out awaiting the decision of the Belizean legal system as to whether they will be tried on indictment or summarily.

It came as a shock to the pair that the Crown is prepared to try them on indictment, which means a longer time in Belize and a heavier risk for obtaining bail because as non-Belizeans, they are almost automatically considered risks to flee the jurisdiction and avoid trial.

The pair are accused of dishonestly renting two vehicles, a white Kia Sorento and a white Chevrolet Equinox SUV in July and failing to return them, which constitutes theft.

Attorney Rene Montero Jr argued in submissions to the court that it is the court, not the prosecution, who must decide and cited Section 51 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act as precedent. The court’s precedent has been that theft of any amount exceeding $50,000 is dealt with on indictment unless agreed otherwise.

The presiding Magistrate reserved her decision and promised to research the issue before issuing a decision on November 13, 2022. In the meantime, Vasquez and Jara remain on remand at the Central Prison.

 

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