As if things were not bad enough for John Saldivar, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is now asking the Prime Minister that a criminal investigation be launched into the Dermen and Saldivar transactions. The Chamber has joined the Opposition Party in suggesting that the Government puts the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty into effect where the Government could request any and all documents and information including testimonies to carry out their investigation. It is an act that would have to be carried out by the Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte who was very dismissive on the issue as he exited the Sir Edney Cain Building this morning.
Renee Trujillo, News Director, Love News: Sir could you speak on the press release from the Chamber of Commerce calling for an investigation and support from MLAT?
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party: “They issue one of those every week.”
Reporter: Sir but they’re saying there is enough circumstantial evidence now to warrant an investigation and invoke the MLAT.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party: “I will speak after the Prime Minister speaks.”
A few hours later when nerves were calmer and the Saldivar situation was somewhat digested, Peyrefitte via a Live statement on Facebook, spoke on the matter.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party: “The evidence that we may need to gather may not come from Utah it may come from somewhere else but we have to get somewhere before we reach that. As you know the treaty is invoked whenever we in Belize have an interest in a crime that may have occurred in Belize then we would request of the US through the treaty information that would help our investigation here. We have to do the investigation and once we during the investigation we come across anything that we believe the US authorities could help us with then we would request of them information that would bolster our case here. So the treaty is always there, we operate it everyday, we use it every day but there would have to be good reason for us to summon information from the court and usually when we do that it’s because the situation involves a crime that is with a crime in the requesting state and the requested state. The Honorable John Saldivar has maintained his innocence, he’s not saying ‘I am guilty and so therefore I am resigning.’, He’s saying he’s resigning because he believes that all the attention and the distraction is having the party go through some hemorrhaging. He maintains and has maintained and still does maintain that he is innocent of any bribery, corruption or any crime for that matter. So it’s not like you know we have a situation where we’re accepting that some crime occurred , there would have to be an investigation because Minister Saldivar still maintains his innocence.”
The request from the Chamber was made via a letter to the PM dated February 11, 2020.