Alleged middleman in land compensation scheme dropped from lawsuit

The former deputy Prime Minister’s son, Andre Vega,  and another well known UDP supporter,  Sharon Pitts, are being taken to court by the Government of Belize aftervlcsnap-2017-05-09-20h51m36s404 much public pressure. The two defendants received 400 thousand dollars each in land compensations that occurred under very suspicious circumstances.  That land scheme is what caused the former DPM to resign from his post and since then, vlcsnap-2017-05-09-20h38m09s334public pressure has demanded that Government get back those monies. We understand that the case management hearings for Sharon Pitts already happened before the Chief Justice. As for Andre Vega, questions now arise as to the strength of the prosecution’s case against the son of the former Minister because his co-defendant, Hilmar Alamilla, has been removed as a defendant in the lawsuit. You may recall that Alamilla was the middle man who bought the prime piece of real estate from government on the approval of Minister Vega; a piece of property that was not available because it already had an owner. This information was relayed to Minister Vega but he still instructed that the land be sold. Alamilla bought that property for a measly 2,500 dollars. A few months later, he sold it to the Minister’s son for $15,000.  Then just over a year later, the real owner vlcsnap-2017-05-09-20h39m08s342showed up for his land and Government ended up compensating Vega with nearly half a million dollars.  Alamilla’s involvement in this land scheme would seem important to the case against Vega, but the judge in the hearings yesterday agreed to have Alamilla removed as a defendant. Our colleagues in Belize City spoke to Alamilla and Vega’s attorney, Steve Perrera.

 

Steve Perrera, Anthony for Andre Vega & Hilmer Alamilla: After reviewing the claim, we felt that there was not a case really filed against Mr. Alamilla. We felt that the entire claim was directed at Mr. Vega and as such we felt that it was proper for us to make such an application to the court to have that defendant removed.

Daniel Ortiz, 7News: “Sir, but from a layman’s perspective on the outside, it would appear that the government’s chief claim against Mr. Andre Vega has had a very huge setback, because Mr. Alamilla was supposed to have been the middle man. He bought the land from Alamilla before the government had to compensate him. What’s your perspective on the reasoning that he needed to be removed.

Steve Perrera, Anthony for Andre Vega & Hilmer Alamilla: Well like I said, we applied for Mr. Hilmar Alamilla to be removed based on the fact and the way the pleadings were made against Mr. Alamilla and we felt it was justified for the court to make such an order to remove him after seeing that the claim didn’t contain too many allegations against him.vlcsnap-2017-05-09-20h42m07s637

Perrera was asked if Alamilla’s absence in the case is likely to affect the case against Vega in anyway.

Steve Perrera, Anthony for Andre Vega & Hilmer Alamilla: After reviewing the claim, we felt that there was not a case really filed against Mr. Alamilla. We felt that the entire claim was directed at Mr. Vega and as such we felt that it was proper for us to make such an application to the court to have that defendant removed.

Daniel Ortiz, 7News: “Sir, but from a layman’s perspective on the outside, it would appear that the government’s chief claim against Mr. Andre Vega has had a very huge setback, because Mr. Alamilla was supposed to have been the middle man. He bought the land from Alamilla before the government had to compensate him. What’s your perspective on the reasoning that he needed to be removed.

Steve Perrera, Anthony for Andre Vega & Hilmer Alamilla: Well like I said, we applied for Mr. Hilmar Alamilla to be removed based on the fact and the way the pleadings were made against Mr. Alamilla and we felt it was justified for the court to make such an order to remove him after seeing that the claim didn’t contain too many allegations against him.

 

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