PM Barrow speaks about Hon. Mark King’s behaviour


This morning Prime Minister Dean Barrow appeared on the LOVE FM Morning Show and has become usual after such appearances, the rest of the press vlcsnap-2013-02-07-06h15m13s20awaited him outside for an impromptu news conference. High on the agenda this morning was yesterday’s abrupt suspension of Minister of State Mark King, who now faces criminal charges of aggravated assault, threatening words and disorderly conduct after getting involved in a reported incident at the compound of the Princess Casino in the Corozal Free Zone. This morning, the Prime Minister told reporters that with the details he had available, he felt he had to move quickly.

DEAN BARROW – Prime Minister:
vlcsnap-2013-02-06-19h36m08s11Mr King intervened when the Security Guards were trying to eject somebody that was part of the group he was with, when that person was ultimately put in the pan of a Police pick-up.  Mr King jumped into the pick-up.
I want the opposition to tell me when it is that in Government their Prime Minister ever disciplined any Minister.  I have now done this for a third time, and I believe I can say that with absolute truth that I act in a manner that distinguishes the conduct of my administration, from that of the Opposition.

Calls have been made for King’s removal, mainly by the parliamentary opposition but the Prime Minister dismissed them. What he could not dismiss, however, was the severe criminal charge of “aggravated assault” King now faces. He outlines what will happen next.

DEAN BARROW – Prime Minister:
I believe it would depend on the particular Police officers, but what would not be normal is if the aggravated assault included an element involving of use of a firearm, or perhaps some other deadly instrument.  That’s different from a charge of Aggravated Assault merely because the assault was against a Police Officer.  I’m sure that’s the difference. In those circumstances, it would be perfectly in order for the person to be given Station Bail before being formally arraigned in front of a Magistrate.

And finally, the Prime Minister warned that there would be no “public lynching” of a man who has never been shy to speak up and speak out.

DEAN BARROW – Prime Minister:
I have no knowledge of that.  I know that when he was in a position, and was fighting for the cause, that he was a brave soul who would engage in public displays meant to dramatize his opposition.  I can clearly have no complaint on that score. In terms of since he’s become a Minister, really I have found Mr King to be extremely self-contained.  The courts will deal with him.  I have dealt with him, but he has been man enough to come forward, well preserving his options in terms of the trial, to say “Look, I apologize, I am sorry,” and we are believers in second chances.

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