Minister Elrington on DPP/Police tensions and diplomats murder investigation

Earlier we told you about the case of 18 year old Wilser Echeverrias who is being accused of the murder of 64 year old Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Standford. Two days ago a three member team of investigators and diplomats arrived in Belize and Met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to familiarize themselves with the case.

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Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs

“[Representatives] from the Panamanian Government came into the country the day before yesterday.  I had been informed by the Vice-President and Foreign Minister of Panama that she was intending to send them to see into the details of nwhat had transpired here with the death of the Charge d’affairs.

It’s a courtesy which we accorded to them.  We have been doing the same thing with the Guatemalan Government.  They’ve had officials come over when we have had a death of one of their citizens.

So they came in, and I had a meeting with them yesterday morning, at about ten o’clock.  It was a very nice meeting.”

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We also told you of the ongoing strain between the DDP’s office and the Police Department. Elrington also commented on this matter

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vlcsnap-2014-11-28-12h30m30s184Wilfred Elrington

“It transpires that there are occasions when the Police file goes up to the DPP, the file does not disclose evidence which would satisfy the jury on all the elements involved.

So we may not have good evidence on the identification of the person who did it.  Or you may not have good evidence on the type of weapon, or the nature of the weapon.  Things like that, if the Director of Public Prosecutions is not satisfied with what is contained in the case file, sent to her by the police, she can sent it back to the police, and ask police to get more evidence. 

And it’s out of that requirement that a practice arose for police officers to submit the file to her, to make sure that in fact she’s satisfied that the evidence is there to convict the person, before laying the charge. That is not lawful.  It’s not unlaeful at the same time, but it is not required in law.  What is required in law is fior the police to investigate the offence, and ensure that the investigation covers all the elements that exist in the charge.”

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