PUP Initiates Judicial Review on Mr. Penner for Passport Scandal

This afternoon, the People’s United Party’s legal advisor, Anthony Sylvestre, initiated a judicial review on behalf of the party’s leader, Francis Fonseca, against Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.

vlcsnap-2014-02-06-20h06m47s66KIm Wong HongThis is with regard to the Police Department’s investigation of the Penner Passport Scandal, as it relates to his activities with South Korean businessman Won-Hong Kim, who illegally obtained a Belizean passport and nationality while in jail in Taiwan last September.

According to Sylvestre the party was forced to take action after it received no formal communication from Commissioner Whylie regarding the letter sent by Musa and Balderamos law firm last Monday requesting action be taken. Mr. Sylvestre maintained that the Commissioner was approached because they needed to move urgently to meet the six-month statute of limitation and because there is a call from last year for action to be taken.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement that a private prosecution could be pursued, Mr. Sylvestre noted that only persons with first-hand knowledge of an offense committed under the Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Act could initiate such a complaint.

The only persons, he said, who could initiate such a prosecution are the Prime Minister, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse and Director of Immigration, Mrs. Maria Marin. Responding to the rejoinder that the PUP, through Mr. Arthur Saldivar, possessed documents that might have been used for such a prosecution, Mr. Sylvestre pointed out that that is no longer relevant as those documents were passed over to the Police who are the persons best suited to start and carry through such an investigation.

vlcsnap-2014-02-19-19h38m48s174Attorney Sylvestre told PLUS News that he would not comment on any suggestion that the Commissioner is somehow compromised or unwilling to pursue the case as the matter is before the court but he noted that Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal says she has seen enough for at least an investigation. It is also concerning that the investigation Police started at the behest of the Minister last year has stalled with no report to the nation; something, he said, that “makes a mockery of our laws and our system.”

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