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Senator Lizarraga takes on Senator Peyrefitte

In his budget debate presentation yesterday, Senator for the Private Sector, Mark Lizarraga, focused a few minutes on the Attorney General’s Office. Lizarraga pointed out that the budget makes no provision for the Attorney General’s office with respect to UNCAC. He asked the Attorney General, Michael Peyreffite, who doubles as a UDP Senator, what his office does for the country and people of Belize.

Mark Lizarraga, Senator: “I hope today, the Attorney General will tell us what is it that he does for us. What he has done and what he will do to improve in his ministry because this is a ministry that’s supposed to  be and is supposed to provide exemplary legal services to the government and people of Belize. Yet we spend on legal fees more than his whole ministry. I’m not saying you spent it, I said We. We as a country spend more on legal advice but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? The Attorney General’s Ministry will provide quality and innovative services to the government and people of Belize and will contribute to its development but you see, if you go back to page 87 of the budget, it seems that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs is doing the same thing so maybe that’s why we have this problem.”

Michael Peyrefitte, Senator: “Madam President, the Attorney General’s Ministry, and I take great offense to Senator Lizarraga’s pronouncements or questions as to what it is that we do. He seems almost perplexed that the Attorney General’s Ministry even exists, wondering what is our purpose. Well Madam President, he wouldn’t last a day in my job. All we do is write and see to it that all legislation is passed for the country. Both acts as statutory instruments, we provide all the legal advice to all the ministries within the government. We provide legal advice and exchange of statutes information through our ILA. We deal with Justices of The Peace, we sit on the National Security Council, we sit on the subcommittee for Trade. We do, Madam President, a lot of work  in the Attorney General’s Ministry and Senator Lizarraga owes the good people of the Attorney”

 According to Senator Lizarraga, the Government has budget $6.4 million in legal fees for the new fiscal year.