Yesterday at the Senate Select Inquiry in Belmopan, the disruptive and disrespectful behavior of UDP operatives caused the session to be suspended as Police tried to remove Brian “Yellowman” Audinett and Alberto August and others from the gallery. As we showed you, the men had gone to the Senate Inquiry and had started heckling Senator Eamon Courtenay as he was questioning Elvin Penner on the Won Hong Kim case. Chairman Aldo Salazar suspended the hearings until order was restored but he was asked if he was lenient with the hecklers because they are from his party. Here is what the Chairman had to say
Aldo Salazar, Senate Select Committee, Chairman: I wouldn’t say that, I don’t agree with your characterization of reluctance. We did suspend the sitting when there was noise. I did speak with certain persons and said that we need to have the senate respected, you would have heard me if you were to review your tape you would see that I said the same thing that we need to respect the senate. But, remember that we have to weigh the public of the interest as well. You would know that it was a particular request of the opposition when these were done that these hearings should be in public. So we need to weigh both sides, but we really do need to proceed in an orderly and respectable fashion. Although we might not be able to complain much about intervention here and there, if there’s really disruption then we really need to address it. I did ask for one to be removed by the police, which is the point at which the crowd became more heightened which is something we would want to avoid. As you can see our police presence here is not one where we would want to deal with a situation like that, so it’s really trying to manage with what we have and I feel that today was the best way in which we could have managed it and in the future we will have to see how we can address it more appropriately with additional people for the police. I really feel we don’t have enough persons here today if we got into a situation where the people got more abusive or more hostile towards us.
Thereafter, one of the journalists pointed out that the situation was a very hostile one, to the point where one of the camera men was stoned with an object.
Alindy: Are you aware that one of the men hurled a pen at one of the cameramen. That’s a direct attack, it was caught on tape. Do you consider that that individual who did so should be disallowed from returning to these sittings?
Aldo Salazar, Senate Select Committee, Chairman: I didn’t see it. But if what you are saying is true then that is indeed reprehensible but I didn’t see it. So yes, anybody who did that, anybody who hurls anything at anybody, not just to someone in the media but anybody who conducts them self in that manner should not be allowed to come back.
Alindy: So what would be your advice to us?
Alindy: Should we write you and ask you that you in fact consider not allowing that person to enter for the next hearing.
Aldo Salazar, Senate Select Committee, Chairman: The person who was affected by it, the person is free to do whatever he pleases. He can write me as chairman and complain about the behaviour of this person.