Leader of the Opposition led a PUP press conference this afternoon at Independence Hall in Belize City. One of the issues addressed was the recent killing of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Briceno says that this recent killing should jolt everyone to the point where justice is demanded.
“We asked you here today because a Belizean; a pastor no less is dead, butchered in the most horrific and gruesome of ways. His head cut off and put on ice in a bucket. The severed head was carried around in a pick up owned by a man who rubs shoulders with people in the highest of places from the very corridors of Belizean power. Now we all know that in our country a person is innocent until proven guilty but everything I just said has to give us pause. It should shock and jolt each of us. More than that from the reactions of Belizeans everywhere there are too many unanswered questions and Belizeans are demanding not only answers but justice to ensure that an act of this nature never happens in our country again.”
During today’s conference, Briceno presented the details that the PUP has been able to gather on the investigation and other related angles including the allegation by the police that he was inaccessible.
“Our reliable reports are a Mennonite corn farmer was introduced to Mr. Mason by a minister of government, Mr. Mason to import corn on his behalf $300,000 worth of corn. Mr. Mason however never delivered the corn and after multiple queries from the concerned businessman Mr. Mason allegedly kidnapped the man and his wife at gunpoint and demanded more money. This we are told was reported to the police yet Mr. Mason was never detained much less arrested and charged. When asked at a Ministry of National Security press conference on Monday why Mr. Mason was never arrested acting commissioner Russell Blacket said “Mr. Mason is a very cunning guy. The location that he is located for us to get in and search would have been problematic for us.” but that report was made two months ago. Last month Mr. William Mason, who is at various times a pig farmer and a corn importer, a chef, a semi pro sports investor and yes a political financier, emerged at a NEMO press conference here in Belize City as one of the government’s search and rescue experts. He was even interviewed on national television. So Mr.Blackett is saying they can’t get this man because reaching him is problematic and while they can’t find him he is giving interviews on national television. Giving all this we believe that the police have much more explaining to do. We also believe that had the police acted on the report of Mr. Dud and arrested Mason, Pastor Lou would probably be alive today.”
This morning following his presence on The Morning Show, Prime Minister Dean Barrow clarified the sequence of action taken when he was personally informed of the kidnapping.
“There was never as far as I can determine any suggestion that the man was a would be murder, a kidnapper or someone who engaged in violence. It seems that the information initially was limited merely to the fact that he will rob you blind in consequence of relationships and associations that a number of people voluntarily got into but there was never any suggestion that this man was a threat to public safety. There can be no business of the man having gotten any kind of protection which allowed him to continue to pose a threat to public safety while the police knew that he constituted that sort of a threat. Nobody knew as far as I can determine. As I indicated I did get a report maybe three weeks ago about his having kidnapped the Mennonite couple. I immediately called the Minister of National Security, called CEO Lovell and I was told “Well the Mennonite Couple left the country, did not make any report the police.” That was the first as far as the officials are telling me that there was any suggestion that this man is more than a con man and again the husband was in a business relationship with him and it seems that the kidnapping occurred as a consequence of them having falling out, that the man had gripped him and that when he requested an accounting this is when that sort of thing happened. He left the country, he reported to his Spanish Lookout Community who told an official of government who came to me. I immediately acted upon it but the people said “He is gone in fear of his life, will not make any report to the police.” so there is nothing for the police could do but at that point certainly the question of surveying this guy came into play, that was three weeks ago. Before that as far as I can determine in my conversations with the National Security Officials there was never any suspicion that this was a violent type.”
Love News understands that the Canadian couple that was kidnapped are back in Belize and should be taking part in an identification parade.