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Rumors That John Saldivar Received Bribes Not Verified: Lev Dermen Case

Rumors That John Saldivar Received Bribes Not Verified: Lev Dermen Case
January 23
18:02 2020

Rumors That John Saldivar Received Bribes Not Verified: Lev Dermen Case

Thursday, Jan. 23rd. 2020 –

At midday this afternoon the internet and some media houses in Belize were hurry to publish rumors that are ‘at this time’ unsubstantiated, that National Security Minister Hon. John Saldivar was the person who received bribe monies from Lev Aslan Derman.
See Linked News Article

The availability of unverifiable data from anonymous sources, or vague print-outs that can come from anywhere, is cause for pause, at lease for the moment, considering the seriousness of the allegations.

Late this afternoon the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow made the following statement . . .

Statement from the Office of the Prime Minister

Belmopan. January 23, 2020. The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has been made aware of a new item publicly extracted in Belize from the Lev Derman trial documents in the U.S. Various media houses have asked the Prime Minister whether the new extract, which alleges the existence of text messages between Minister John Saldivar and Lev Derman’s convicted co-conspirator Jacob Kingston, provides a sufficient basis for the Prime Minister to act now.

The short answer is that it does not.

The extract speaks only to the alleged existence of the text messages. It does not disclose the contents of those messages or even the subject matter of the texts. It absolutely does not constitute so much as an allegation – much less provable material – that Minister John Saldivar received money from Kingston or Derman. The Prime Minister can only act if there is evidence of the receipt of money by Minister Saldivar or some other improper or incriminating act. If the Prime Minister were to move against Minister Saldivar in the current circumstances and before any evidence of wrongdoing is forthcoming, that would be a gross violation of the rules of fairplay and the Minister’s Constitutional rights.

The OPM refers to the assertion made by the Opposition that the Prime Minister can get from the U.S. Embassy revelatory material pertaining to the Derman trial even before such material is placed on the public record. The Prime Minister spoke with the U.S. Charge d’Affaires, who has now publicly made clear that the U.S. Embassy can do no such thing.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the Belize Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in connection with the Derman matter and the possible involvement of Ministers in wrongdoing. In this regard, the FIU Director has confirmed that an FIU inquiry turned up nothing whatsoever on Mr. Derman or any Minister of Government.

The OPM reiterates the Prime Minister’s solemn promise to act immediately on the basis of any forthcoming evidence against any Minister.

. . . . . . . .

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