Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Barrow to fire any minister implicated in bribery scandal

Published:Sunday | January 19, 2020 | 1:05 AM
Barrow

BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC):

Prime Minister Dean Barrow has warned that any government minister implicated in a bribery scandal involving an imprisoned American businessman dating back to 2013 “will be fired by your humble servant”.

Barrow was responding to statements made by Opposition Leader John Briceño at the first sitting of Parliament on Friday.

Briceño told legislators that it was not the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) that broke the story regarding the bribery scandal.

“It was actually the media that broke this story. This story is now public, now what is really important and what Belizeans are really interested in is that they want to know who are the two unnamed ministers that are accused of bribery that belong to the… cabinet,” he said.

“Who are these UDP (United Democratic Party) ministers, or who are the UDP officials that have been mentioned, Mr Speaker? What Belizeans want to know is the massive corruption that was and could possibly still be happening in the Department of Immigration.

“Belizeans want to know about the kinds of associations that UDP ministers have been or are having with characters who are being locked up or are being accused of criminal activities,” Briceño said.

Barrow told Parliament that the matter with respect to the proceedings in the United States involves unnamed ministers, allegations against unnamed ministers and that he had made the point in the past that “the allegations are that one minister was getting monthly contributions from this Levon and another minister got monies by way of a wire transfer.

“No names have been called, but the trial is soon to commence, and presumably once that trial is commenced the evidence that the prosecutor currently tells the judge he is prepared to lead will be led, and I repeat that the names clearly will come out and the evidence to prove that they were recipients of money and for a corrupt purpose will be forthcoming.

“If or when that happens I say to you sir, and to all members of this house and to the nation, anybody, any minister indeed that have been found to be complicit in any corrupt act and to have received money for purposes of a bribe will be fired by your humble servant,” Barrow said.