He was quick to demand an apology when it aired and even quicker to sue when he did not get one. But Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, who claims to have been libeled by a broadcast bought and paid for by the family of the late Ramon Cervantes, Sr., of Orange Walk Town last November, appears not as eager to clear his good name in court. The broadcast aired on LOVE FM was of a memorial service hosted by the family in which a recording of a phone call to the elder Cervantes’ widow, Vilma, from one of his accused killers, Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, charging that Vega and a senior police officer set up his political rival Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., to die, but his father was kidnapped and killed on the Honey Camp Road instead, last July. Today the case was called up for pre-trial review by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin at the Belize City Supreme Court. Counsel for Ramon Cervantes, Jr., defendant in the lawsuit, Senior Counsel Said Musa, explains what transpired.
“The attorney for Mister Vega made an application to the court to amend the statement of claim. Most of the morning, the Chief Justice was taken up with considering whether or not the amendment of the statement of claim should be allowed or not. And the Chief Justice have heard the arguments and from both sides. And will give it ruling next Thursday the 7th of May.”
“Is there any real progress in terms of the disposal of this case sir?”
Rt. Hon. Said Musa
“Well, it’s moving along. We were hoping today that could have been the pre-trial review, that the next stage would have been the trial date. However, the claimant, Mr. Vega, through his attorney made this application to amend and that is what is holding up the matter now. The judge will give his ruling next Thursday. One way or the other, he may not agree to it or he may allow the amendment. We will find out next Thursday.” Ramon, Jr., explains what he thinks of the sudden dodge by Hon. Vega.
“My impression from this proposed amendment, Daniel, is that the claimant, Mr. Vega, is trying to find a way to excuse himself from presenting himself at the trial for his case. And instead let someone else, in this case I think one of the witnesses, to do that work for him for his case.
“Is there any ideas which come to mind as to why he would want to exclude himself all together?”
Ramon “Monchie” Cervantez Jr.
“I don’t know, I think you would have to ask him that.”
No trial date has been set but the Chief Justice will give a ruling next Thursday, May 7. Vega is represented by Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams.