Double jeopardy for Social Security contributions saves businessman

Magistrate Dale Cayetano spared 46 year old Walid El Sayed, the owner of American Closeout store on Freetown Road, Belize City, from penalties over a charge of failure to pay Social Security contributions no later than 14 days after the end of each calendar month.

Mr El Sayed is accused of not paying for the period June to August of 2014.

Walid El Sayed pleaded guilty to the charge in cour,t but explained that he had already paid the contribution with interest.

Magistrate Cayetano then invoked the legal rule of double jeopardy, explaining that since Mr El Sayed had already paid up, it was not necessary to punish him for the same offence in the court system.

Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that guarantees that no defendant be tried again on the same or similar charges, after his case is initially determined by acquittal or conviction, or in this case having already made restitution for his breach.

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