Julio Valdez refuses to identify who made directive to stop Immigration investigation

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Updated: July 19, 2017

Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police Julio Valdez would not reveal who instructed him to desist from digging deeper into the irregularities he found at the immigration department. Valdez presented himself today in Belmopan before the Special Senate Select Committee. He was questioned about the investigation he was in charge of regarding the theft of eight visas. Those visas found their way into the hands of Attorney Arthur Saldivar. According to Valdez, his investigation revealed that someone took the files from the immigration department in Belmopan and reportedly took it to Saldivar’s house. While investigating that matter, Valdez uncovered serious irregularities in the immigration department which he described as something really wrong. He continued investigating the serious irregularities until he was instructed to focus solely on the missing files that were in Arthur Saldivar’s possession. When questioned about it, Valdez refused to say who instructed him to do so saying he fears the legal ramifications.

Senator Eamon Courtney
“’Due to instructions no other follow up was made with respect to the line of investigation of the discrepancy.’

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“ Yes I did not continue that line of investigation.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“ Who instructed you?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“I chose not to answer that at this time.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“ Sorry?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“ I choose not to answer that.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“ Why?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Because the concerns were and I quite agree that the report was from the missing documents. The first line of investigation was the missing documents.

Senator Eamon Courtney
“We understand that, but you went onto the second and you received instructions not to continue and I want to know who gave you those instructions.”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“The instructions were to deal with the investigation of the missing documents.

Senator Eamon Courtney
“I understand so back..

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Based on that I did not continue the other line of investigation.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“I understand and I am asking you now who gave you those instructions.”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“I choose not to answer at this time due to legal ramifications.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Alright. Well let me ask you this, was it a police officer above your rank?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“I choose not to answer that. I did not follow that investigation and I continued to follow the missing documents.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Did you receive instructions from anybody outside the police ranks with respect to this investigation?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“There were no instructions.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“What do you mean when you say ‘due to instructions?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“People brought up… listen concerns with the investigations of the missing documents.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Who is the person or persons?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“I choose not to answer at this time.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Why ?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Due to legal ramifications.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“What are the legal ramifications?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Mr.Courtney I have now retired out of the Belize Police Department, I am a civilian now I do not want to be dragged back into court and all those things about the legal ramifications and then to prove that what I said is right. Based on that I chose not to answer at this time.”

Senator Mark Lizarraga
“Who stopped you from pursuing that line?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Nobody stopped me , there was nothing that said I was stopped I said I did not follow that line.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Due to instructions.”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Yes that is how I wrote the report because as you are aware our department we have a chain of command and I must report to a higher top. I was aware of what I was doing and their concern was just to continue following the investigation for the missing documents.
Eamon Courtney, Senator: Who were you reporting to?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“I was then attached to Mr.Blackett who was the head of CIB.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“ And you gave Mr.Blackett regular updates on the investigation?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Yes.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Did Mr.Blackett at any time give you instructions as to which way to go with the investigation and which way not to go?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“Mr.Blackett no I just briefed him on what was going on and what was happening.”

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Who was above Mr.Blackett?”

Julio Valdez – Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police
“The commissioner of police, the head of the department.”

In an interview aired on September 8, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie denied giving such instructions to Valdez. During his testimony today, the Commissioner explained that after hearing what Valdez was saying, he called Valdez in a meeting where the matter was clarified.
Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“Perhaps misinterpretation on his part because I am saying that it was out there in the media that he had been stopped and I knew that in the one meeting I had with him I hadn’t stopped him. I had encouraged him to investigate and that can be verified by another senior officer who was with me when he visited me.

Senator Mark Lizarraga
“But when you hear this did you not see it necessary to find out who directed him in another way?”

Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“And that is what I am saying, when I heard in the media and there was something from the DPP I spoke to the head NCIB and I said ‘who gave Mr.Valdez such instructions?’ and he said he hadn’t I knew I didn’t and so I had him bring Mr.Valdez to a meeting with me and at that meeting we trashed it out in terms of what and it was clear to me that Mr.Valdez felt that he had been instructed to discontinue but I don’t see how he could have reached that conclusion any at all because definitely in my discussion with him around the 15th or 16th of January 2014 it was the converse and what I told him was in the presence of a senior officer. But I gathered from our meeting that he felt that he shouldn’t pursue that line of questioning and I told him no that he needed to clarify the issue because if he didn’t I would take action because as I’ve always said when it comes to the police institution it is bigger than all of us.

Senator Mark Lizarraga
“Did he clarify the issue?”

Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“Yes he did clarify the issue because I think he had written the DPP saying he had been directed not to investigate and he did clarify that matter with the DPP.

Senator Eamon Courtney
“Mr.Valdez sat right there earlier today and made it very clear to this committee that there is a person who gave him certain instructions and he refused to reveal the name of the person. Two names came up Blackett, you. He specifically said it wasn’t Blackett. Given the impression as you had said just now, the impression nothing more than that, if it dah no he call a name and I will whistle. So commissioner you are now saying that it wasn’t you so we know that it wasn’t you or Blackett, so is Mr.Valdez crazy?”

Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“Well maybe you should have asked Mr.Valdez that question. I can’t say he is crazy I am telling you that I did not give him any instructions and that can be verified by the other senior officer but I haven’t called his name but I am certain if the committee wants they can call him and Mr.Valdez also put it in writing that he misunderstood anything that he thought that was otherwise. I have his correspondence he put it in writing.

Senator Eamon Courtney
“That would be helpful to us.”

Whylie considered the allegations made against him as mischief and vowed to take court action if repeated.

Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“I will spend every copper I have if I have to clear my name because I don’t play with that and so Mr.Valdez knows if he comes here and say certain things that he knows are untrue or says it in the media or the public I will take him to court and I will spend every last copper if I have to because I did no such thing I gave him no such instruction. I am not a stupid fellow, I am not a crazy man. I have thirty years of service with distinction in the Belize Police Department and in the public service and I will not throw it away for anybody. Nobody has asked me to do any wrongdoing and nobody will and so I saw the mischief there and that was the reason I did not pursue the investigation Mr.Valdez was doing nor the other investigation. I knew it was being done, the head NCIB who was tasked to coordinate those matters is quite competent and I have the full confidence in him that he could get the job done.”

Senator Mark Lizarraga
“But do you know commissioner what has been the results of both these investigations, can you tell us ?”

Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“I don’t know in terms of the Valdez investigations because like I said I did not follow that up with him because I could see that there was some mischief.”

Senator Mark Lizarraga
“So is it fair to say the matter remains unsolved because nobody knows what has happened in the case of the missing files.”

Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police
“Well you can say that.”