Should Accused Immigration Officers be Given Immunity?

vlcsnap-2014-01-31-00h12m55s16vlcsnap-2014-01-20-18h38m54s14The trio of Immigration Department officers facing possible termination for their role in the passport scandal are not to escape according to the dictum of Prime Minister Dean Barrow who believes he has done enough to their ex-boss, Elvin Penner.  But some suggest that instead of punishing the immigration officers, they should be encouraged to tell-all and achieve the removal of Penner.  PUP leader Francis Fonseca thinks it’s a good idea.  He tells us more.

vlcsnap-2014-01-31-00h11m27s242Hon. Francis Fonseca- Leader of the People’s United Party

“The public officers are being thrown under the bus; they obviously acted in the instructions of higher-ups.  But we can’t get to the bottom of that without a proper full investigation.  That’s why I believe in a full independent senate inquiry where you have the Opposition senators in there, the social partners would be able to get to the bottom of this, they could do exactly what you are suggesting, calling on these public officers and saying to them, we want you to provide information on other individuals who may have instructed you to act; that is the kind of proper investigation we need”.

However, Fonseca warns that any deal must involve the investigative authorities like the Police.

“And then, the relevant authorities can come in, whether it is the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine what is the next step in terms of criminal prosecution, and if the type of deal you are talking about, can be made with these individuals, so that they can in fact, provide evidence against Individuals like Mr. Penner or other Ministers of Government or other UDP official who may be involved in this matter.  That is the comprehensive nature that the Belizean people, I believe, would want to see”.

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