High Court may resume normal operations come Monday
The Belize Criminal High Court may be back to a full staff come Monday. By indications from the Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight and the Attorney General, Anthony Sylvestre Junior, they have come to an agreement with the court prosecutors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The parties met today in Belmopan for just under two hours. By this afternoon, an undisclosed agreement was reached. According to FinSec Waight, it was important to take into consideration several factors.
Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: “In anything you have to think about equity, equality across the public service. I mean, this is one segment of the public service but you have, you know, you have the general public service. You also have the security services, the three commissions and what you do in one affects immediately there’s a ripple effect, you know, a knock-on effect to the other. So whatever we do, and also you have to watch the bottom line. You can’t – you could have a situation where somebody, something is deserving and needed but if you don’t have the money what will you do ? But we’re trying our best to see how we can first listen understand, appreciate the concerns of the judicial officers and to see how best we can respond bearing in mind that whatever is agreed or not agreed, agreed I should say, has an effect for the rest of the public service and of course bottom line how we will afford it. Everything has a cost so whatever we can agree on will have a cost. We have to see how we can accommodate those and I will say it’s constructive and we believe that at the end of the day there’ll be an outcome that is satisfactory to all if not most if not all. Coming out of the meeting I’m older and I’m wiser I hope, older for sure, wiser I think. So I understand the concerns. I would say that we hope to have this thing wrapped up and put to bed by the end of next month. September is essentially finished. I think we have a basis upon which to continue discussions. I’m confident that a solution will be found.”
We also spoke with Attorney General Sylvestre, there will be no need for any follow up meetings, unless further clarifications are deemed necessary. He also noted that the issue of security for the prosecutors has also been resolved.