Mr. Middleton, scared for life, but can’t recall

By Benjamin Flowers


Barton Middleton, the man accused of being a key player in visa fraud, testified before the Senate Select Committee this week, but claimed no recollection of anything during his testimony as well as claiming to fear for his life.


As the senators questioned him, he repeatedly said that he could not recall key details, prompting Committee Chairman Aldo Salazar to ask him if he had any condition that impaired his memory.


Middleton then told the Committee that he recently had a tumor removed from his head at the Corozal Hospital; however, he couldn’t say whether the surgery was done inside or outside of his skull.


Of the information he could recall, Middleton refuted all the accusations made against him by several witnesses, about his connection to six of the eight visa foils which were stolen from the Benque office of the Immigration and Nationality Department.


Middleton maintained that the testimonies of Patrick Tillett, Inez Casanova and Mark Tench were all fraudulent and that he had no involvement with any kind of fraud.


“I resent the fact [that I had] to come here today, and I feel like my time is being wasted because I don’t know anything about any visas, and yet I keep getting questions about visas,” Middleton said. “So continue with your questions; I will respectfully answer your questions the best I can, but let me reiterate: I don’t know anything about any visas, stolen or otherwise.”


Middleton also said that he feared for his life, but could not tell the committee why. He openly denied being threatened, but on the same token told the committee that someone told him “ police can’t protect you”. He also claimed that strange cars have been following him.


Patrick Tillett, in an earlier testimony, alleged that Middleton served as the courier for six Asians who were applying for visas. Tillett said that Middleton received $3,000 per applicant to take their visa applications to Belmopan, and conduct any necessary follow ups.


Middleton also denied those allegations, and claims no recollection of meeting with Tillett in Belize City with respect to those visa applications. Middleton is scheduled to reappear before the committee in three weeks.



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