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Mother and Son taken to Court

A mother and her son made it to the courts as they appeared before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford today.  76 year old Primrose Gabourel and her son 43 year old Dion Zabaneh, were charged with failure to obtain an environmental clearance prior to development activity; failure to comply with an enforcement notice, that is, a stop order; hindering or obstructing an officer in the conduct of his duties and proceeding with a project without complying with an environmental clearance. They pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to the allegation, they were filling the seabed next to a parcel of land in Caribbean Shores without the consent of the Department of the Environment. Their attorney, Emil Arguelles submitted that they should not have been arraigned on the charges because the charges were not put properly before the court. He said that two Justices of the Peace who had signed the summons were not eligible to do so because they were from Belmopan and it was out of their jurisdiction. However, the Department of the Environment is housed in Belmopan. Arguelles also said that based on his experience as a Crown Counsel, a magistrate should have signed the summons. Mother and son return to court on February 6.