Former Minister Contreras Fails to Appear Before Senate Committee, Hearing Postponed

Former Minister Contreras Fails to Appear Before Senate Committee, Hearing Postponed

Former Minister Erwin Contreras failed to appear before the Special Senate Committee yesterday resulting in the postponement of the proceedings.  Contreras is at the center of this inquiry into the Portico Definitive Agreement as he is the minister said to have signed the document without approval from the then UDP Cabinet.  The proceedings were to begin at nine thirty yesterday morning, but after more than an hour of waiting, the session was called off.  Love News understands that Contreras’ absence was based on the advice of his legal counsel.  Upon the postponement, the committee issued a statement registering its disappointment.  The statement reads, in part, quote, “The Committee is most disappointed at this information as Mr. Contreras has already admitted that he signed the ‘Definitive Agreement’, which committed the Government and the people of Belize to grant Portico financial concessions worth hundreds of millions of dollars for 30 years. Mr. Contreras is the only person and former Government Minister who can explain why he signed the Agreement. The Committee hereby reaches out to Mr. Contreras to reconsider his decision bearing in mind he is being respectfully invited to attend.”  End of quote.  It is the hope of the committee that they would get an opportunity to hear Contreras’ testimony as it would fill significant gaps in understanding the genesis of the Definitive Agreement, the key players and how the procedures carried out.

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