The last time we reported on Government’s case against Sharon Pitts was in February, four months ago. Back then we reported that both parties were ordered to go to mediation. In 2016, Government wrote to Pitts demanding that its four hundred thousand dollars be returned. Pitts failed to do so and that prompted the government to take the matter to court. The Government is after four hundred thousand dollars which Pitts received through an alleged illegitimate land compensation transaction. Pitts was not the only one, documents showed that Pitts and Andre Vega had acquired parcels of land at two thousand five hundred dollars then later flipped it for four hundred thousand dollars which the Government of Belize paid out. In Pitts’ case, the mediators were selected two weeks ago and according to Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, the case is ‘fairly on course’.
Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General of Belize: “I don’t want to prejudice the process by calling the names of the mediators but there are two persons who we’ve selected, our position remains the same. They are the persons who suggested we got to mediation and what we said we would give it a chance to see if they would really give it a chance to see if they really want to mediate. It’s part of our court process now. Just now is to finalize the date for when we’ll sit. What has really caused the delay is that I think she was represented at one point by Mr.Hubert Elrington Senior Council but I understand now that Mr.Herbert Panton Attorney at Law might not be coming on the record for her so that has caused the delay because all the time we were dealing with Mr.Elrington so we need to have all the documents sent to Mr.Panton now who is now indicating that he is representing her.”
Reporter: As a legal professional and as a legal advisor to the government would you say that this case is moving forward in a timely manner? It’s been years and it’s $400,000.
Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General of Belize: “Which case ?”
Reporter: This particular Pitts case.
Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General of Belize: “Well as always difficult to judge what is reasonable is always a question of you have to look at the circumstances but in all the circumstances we will say yes, this case was filed last year or the year before at the tail end of that year so we are a year and probably a couple months in. All the documents have been filled, we’ve made disclosure and so it’s just that instead of going to trial they’ve opted to see if we can settle first if not we just revert to a trial date so I think that we’re fairly on course.”
As is relates to a similar case against Andre Vega, Hawke says that matter is still at case management level.