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SALDIVAR NAMED! PM Says Still Not Enough

SALDIVAR NAMED! PM Says Still Not Enough
January 25
11:13 2020

SALDIVAR NAMED! PM Says Still Not Enough

As he continues to campaign across the country, attempting to convince UDP delegates that he is the best choice for leader of the UDP, as we go to press there is some question of whether John Saldivar will make it to that convention. In a 24-page document revealed today, Saldivar’s name was called in an exhibit list proposed by the government in its fraud case against Armenian-American Levon Dermen. In that document, there is an exhibit labelled 6-60, entitled ‘text messages between Jacob Kingston and John Saldivar.”

It is the first time that a name has been called to go with the allegations, although most media houses have spoken openly of the relationship between Lev Dermen and John Saldivar, including trips for Saldivar and entourage hosted by Dermen on his private jet. And coming on the heels of the Prime Minister’s emphatic statement that if names were called he would act immediately, there was speculation that Saldivar would be removed from Cabinet.

But in a release issued late this evening, while Barrow confirmed that his office has been made aware of the new revelation, he states that “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 Dermen. 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.”

In a statement issued just prior to the Prime Minister’s statement, Saldivar posted briefly that “nothing has changed from the position outlined in my statement of January 15, 2020. The information being circulated regarding expected testimony in US proceedings contains no allegation against me of any wrongdoing.”

In Court documents circulated in the past week, the spectre of real corruption in the government was raised by the prosecution which stated that it intended to hear testimony that Lev Dermen had paid one government Minister or official US$25,000 a month for an unspecified number of months between 2012 and 2016, and using an intermediary Dermen had also wired money to another government official. The allegation is that Dermen, likely in addition to other political favours, was seeking to purchase Belizean diplomatic status so he could travel with large sums of cash. The names of those two persons were not called in those documents.

In an interview earlier this week, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte revealed that he had met Lev Dermen once, but had never done any business with him. “I certainly did not receive $25,000 a month from him. I can assure you,” Peyrefitte asserted.

While the interview was done prior to the name of Minister of National Security John Saldivar now appearing in Court documents to be presented when the case goes to trial on January 27th, Peyrefitte explained that there was nothing else the Prime Minister could have done, other than what he did.

“There’s a report that some unnamed public official was receiving monies from this person or through this person, and no names being called. The best the Prime Minister can do is in a Cabinet meeting ask all his Ministers, especially those who were Ministers then – ‘have you all received any monies from this person. And everybody said no,” explained Peyrefitte.

The release today ended by stating that “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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