The Senate Select Committee investigating irregularities in the Ministry and Department of Immigration with respect to visa and passport fraud continued its work this week after its brief Easter recess.

The Senate Committee called back the elusive Mr. Middleton to ask him more about his activities in procuring visas and passports from the Immigration Department. The Senate Committee has already received sworn testimony from Mr. Patrick Tillett that he paid Mr. Middleton the sum of $18,000 to secure six passports for various clients whom he, Mr. Tillett, was promoting.

At  one stage of the proceedings Mr. Middleton announced that he was exercising his constitutional right not to answer any more questions.

After a stern warning from Committee Chairman Senator Aldo Salazar about possible penalties for perjury,  Barton Middleton was allowed to go.

Even though Mr. Middleton has refused to answer any more questions, we at this newspaper think he should be recalled for a third time  as a witness because of the critical role he played in obtaining certain immigration documents which were reported stolen.

Does Mr. Middleton recall receiving $18,000 from Mr. Patrick Tillett for passport transactions?

Who are his contacts in the Immigration Department? Does he have family or  friends working in the Department ?

For how long has he been working as a passport procurer?   Has he been paying  tax on his earnings as a procurer? It does not matter that Mr. Middleton does not intend to answer these questions.  Every time he refuses to answer is another affirmation that he has something to hide. This evidence will be important if Mr. Middleton is ever to face perjury charges further down the line.

The devil is in the details, and the function of the Senate Select Committee is to pursue these details, and to increase the pressure on witnesses until they can arrive at the truth.  ?




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