In the PUP’s press conference dated September 5, much issue had been taken on the Belize passport that was issued to the brother-in-law of Kim Simplis-Barrow. PUP Senator, Michel Chebat told the media that the mandatory requirements were not met in the case of Peter William Dahlstrom. This very same matter was taken up in the Senate sitting of Wednesday, August 31 to which Immigration Minister, Godwin Hulse had given Love News an interview on.
“I didn’t know at all that I was involved at all in approving it. I heard the issue was the Prime Minster had actually been referees but I would have to review that because I don’t recall that and I have not read that in the report so let me not comment on what I didn’t read. What I do know, I understand the gentleman is properly married to the Prime Minister’s sister-in-law. The constitution is clear, that persons who are married to Belizeans can obtain, as a matter of fact it is almost a right that you have a Belizean citizenship and it you have Belizean citizenship then you are entitled to a passport and there is an issue of residency but the law says deemed to be resident. What that means is that unlike nationality by registration where you have to be five years resident the law says deemed to be resident and deemed to have been in the country legally whether para legal or not so that terminology deemed has been fleshed out by the now deceased Mr. Ghandi and other attorneys who have interpreted it that it’s not exactly permanent resident because if permanent resident was required then you could interpret that to mean the same thing they are saying about persons who register and are required to have permanently registered so I don’t really see a problem because the fact of the matter is that he is married to a Belizean. That gives him the right to be a Belizean and I am sure that I would have to research the documents. I haven’t done that and once he has the right to be a Belizean he has the right to Belizean documentation and Belizean ID which is a passport.”
While Godwin Hulse is saying that there is no problem in this issue, Senator Michel Chebat says that this entire case is being covered up.
“Obviously they are going to say it doesn’t because what you see here is a cover up. The body that is mandated by the constitution of Belize to investigate these sorts of matter is the senate and what we see here is an attempt to kick this down the road and to cover it up because there is no way we can get an independent investigation being headed by 6 ministers. I mean, you have thirteen ministers named in this report, the fourteenth being Minister Godwin Hulse himself so as far as we are concerned the body that has the authority under the constitution is the senate and it is logical. The framers of the constitution were wise people and they realized that ministers cannot investigate themselves and that is why they charge the senate to conduct this investigation.”
Chebat had noted in his presentation on Monday that an application for nationality was submitted to immigration on April 5, 2012 in which he only spoke of a desire to eventually live in Belize which is a direct admission that residence in Belize was merely an intention at the time. On the application form he spoke of only being in Belize for a few weeks at a time which Chebat says makes him unqualified for nationality. Despite this Dahlstrom was recommended for nationality on October 22, 2012 and Minister Godwin Hulse reportedly signed the nationality certificate on that very same day. Chebat