It was a case of “I told you so” this afternoon for 55 year old Albert Vaughan, the People’s United Party (PUP) activist who was present as a reporter on August 4, 2014 during the protest of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) workers in front of City Hall which resulted in over 40 arrests at the Queen Street Police Station. Vaughan was detained by officers in front of the station and charged with loitering in a public place. But after trial in April Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart today officially upheld a submission of no case to answer by Vaughan’s attorneys, Kareem Musa and Kevin Arthurs. Vaughan spoke publicly for the first time today and told PLUS News that he went out on the job knowing he would likely be targeted.
“First of all, I would like to say thanks to Kareem and Mr. Arthurs who believe that I was out there doing my job from the beginning. This was a political case, this is nothing but a political case. I like to say that the magistrate did the right thing when they said I had no case to answer – because there is no case to answer. Mr. Musa was right all along and also other people who supported me during this case, I have to say thank you very much. “
Aaron Humes – Plus T.V Reporter
“Were you expecting when you had gone out there that day – that you would be treated the way you were?”
“Yeah, the police was hostile, the officer in charge of that operation was very hostile towards me. Of course I knew the police would have done something that day.”
Kareem Musa hailed today’s vindication of his client and said the rest of the free press in Belize should take note.
“If I were you, my brother, I would certainly feel cause concern because it could have happened to any of you. Fortunately you all don’t work for a political party but simply because Albert was out there working for the People’s United Party he was targeted. I think all of you guys in the media need to stand up when instances like this occurs because one day it could be you.”
Vaughan and his attorneys are to make a decision on possibly filing a lawsuit seeking damages for unlawful detention.