April 26, 2017

The Public Hearing held in the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan resumed today April 26, 2017 at 10:45 A.M, with three witnesses scheduled to appear before the Committee, Mr. Barton Middleton, Ms. Therese Chavarria and Mr. Omar Philips.

The Committee first interviewed Ms. Therese Chavarria, former Officer in charge of the Passport Section Department as she was the first witness to take the witness stand. The interrogation ran fluently as Ms. Chavarria answered all questions that were asked. Next to take the witness stand was Mr. Barton Middleton. The committee had asked Mr. Middleton to return today for further interrogation on allegations made against him as being an “Immigration Agent” in the alleged case whereby eight visa foils went missing at the Belize Western Border Station and which is mentioned in paragraph 10.2, pages 13 and 14 of the Auditor General’s Report on Visa. However, Mr. Middleton told Senator Courtenay that he will exercise his constitutional right to remain silent.

The last witness that appeared before the Committee was Mr. Omar Philips, former Second Class Clerk at the Immigration Department. The Committee questioned Mr. Philips on allegations made towards him of receiving the Wong Hong Kim passport application form and also about delivering to Wen Jing Chen a passport that was issued to Peter Pang. Mr. Philips answered all questions posed to him by the Committee.

All Members of the Committee were present at the public hearing. The meeting concluded at 3:00 P.M. The Senate Special Select Committee is scheduled to meet again next Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, to continue its public hearing.