Criminal Attorney Oscar Selgado Stands Trial for Abetment to Commit Murder
Criminal Attorney Oscar Selgado appeared in the Belize High Court today, standing trial on a charge of abetment to commit murder. Selgado was charged in July 2019 after evidence gathered, indicated that he was involved in a hit placed against one Marilyn Barnes. The report says that Selgado had hired Giovanni Ramirez to carry out the hit. At the time of the arraignment, Selgado’s attorney was the late counsel, Herbert Panton. Today, he is represented by Attorney Adolph Lucas. In the first day of trial, the prosecution called six witnesses, including Barnes, who testified that she had filed a complaint against Selgado at the General Legal Council, for unethical behavior. Crown Counsel Shanidi Chell Urbina, former secretary of the GLC, testified that the council had determined Selgado had a case to answer for with respect to the complaint. Registrar of the Senior Courts, Trienia Young, testified that she handed over a sealed envelope with the deposition and other evidence in the case to Justice Susan Lamb, but was later informed that two of the discs containing evidence were missing. Also testifying today were two police witnesses and former Ombudsman, Lionel Arzu. Outside the courtroom, attorney Lucas noted that he is less than impressed with the evidence that the prosecution has presented so far, but expects to see more substantive evidence brought tomorrow.
Lucas says that the defense is still contemplating how many witnesses to call. An enraged Selgado engaged the media after today’s adjournment, saying that his privacy needs to be respected.
The trial continues tomorrow where the prosecution will call three more witnesses, including Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams. There will also be a voir dire, known as a trial within a trial, where an aspect of the evidence will be disputed, and Selgado will have the opportunity to respond without being cross-examined. Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn-Vidal is prosecuting the case personally while the matter is being heard by Justice Nigel Pilgrim.