Jasmin Hartin Detained at the Border

Jasmin Hartin Detained at the Border

Jasmin Hartin spent the night at the Corozal Police Station last night after authorities tried figuring out what offences she may have been committing when she attempted to cross into Mexico yesterday via the Santa Elena border.  The red flags for the Police reportedly had to with the fact that the court still had her passport in its possession, and there was no certainty that the fine ordered by the court was paid in accordance with the court ruling, and there was the pending 300 hours of community service at the YMCA.  Speaking on the Hartin’s detention was her attorney, Orson Elrington.  According to Elrington, Hartin now regards Belize as her home, and was not trying to escape.  He further added that she had an emergency across the border, which was the rationale behind her getting a temporary traveling permit.

Orson “OJ” Elrington, Attorney: “Here is the passport. I wanted to make sure I had the passport in hand before I had any discussions with any because I know how cynical some of my friends at the media can be. The travel restrictions had been removed from the time she was sentenced. She had no travel restrictions except for the fact that the registrar and the courts would have had her passport. Now a passport does not mean that you cannot travel. The instructions are normally very clear on an order that you cannot leave the country etc etc. She did not have her passport and my understanding is that she got a temporary permit from the Canadian government because she had some emergency matters that she had to deal with. I tried my best o ascertain from the police and from the immigration department why it is she is being detained and they have yet to give me a response. In fact the police officers and both the Immigration and Police officers that I have spoken to have said they don’t have any reason for detaining her it is the other party who has her that says that they have her detained. So right now it seems to be that the Government of Belize is going to have a lawsuit on its hands and I have it documented that I have requested the reason for her detention and they have been unable to provide me a reason for her detention but up until the time I got on this call I just called the police station before and she was – actually they said they would go and get her and it took about twenty minutes and the phone did not come back so I assume that she’s still there because she has not contacted me. I’m sure if it is that she was released she would have already contacted me. So yes it is my assumption that she is still in detention. Illegally detained let me make that absolutely clear.”

As for the charges against Hartin, late this evening we found that there were none levied.  Police Commissioner Chester Williams spoke to the media regarding her detention, and the fact that she was able to even get a permit from the Canadian consulate.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “She appeared at the northern border with a declaration and a temporary travel document issued by the Canadian Embassy I believe in Guatemala. In the declaration that she had submitted she stated that she had paid in full the money that the court had ordered for her to pay following her conviction in respect to the manslaughter by negligence charge relating to the death of Superintendent Jemmott. Contact was made with the registrar of the Supreme Court who confirmed that no money was paid to the court and based on that immigration notified the police and we took her into our custody and so we’re investigating that matter now with a view to see if charges can be brought against her for making a false declaration. Well we are hoping that by the end of the day today we should determine definitively if she’ll be charged and what the charge is going to be. Based again on what the attorney had in the declaration that she needed to pay I think $25,000 in order for her to have been able to receive back her passport and travel. I am not here to defend her that’s a matter for her and her attorney and again I found it very strange that the Embassy in Canada is going to issue a temporary travel document to someone who supposedly had a passport. I am curious to know what was the explanation she gave them that would have prompted them to give her a temporary travel document. You would have to basically say to your embassy that you have lost your passport or someone stole it for you to be given such document. So I don’t know what she told them but I am sure that had she told the embassy that her passport was being withheld as a result of a case matter before the court that had concluded and she needed to pay certain fine before she gets the passport they would not have issued that temporary document but that’s a different matter.”

 

Attorney Elrington did manage to get a confirmation from the Police, saying that Hartin would be released this evening.  Police Commissioner confirmed that statement, saying that there was no charge that they could have brought against Hartin

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