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With Senate hearings over what comes next?

The hearings which have spanned a little over a year with a total of 42 sessions held are finally over. What happens next? After this afternoon’s final session, the media asked Senator Mark Lizarraga.

Mark Lizarraga, Senator: “The first thing is that we are going to take a much needed break. We are meeting again on the 13th, the second Wednesday in January to decide and chart the way forward. The committee will be meeting with its attorney and we are going to come up with a daft schedule and a draft plan for the way forward. We haven’t gotten there yet we are still tangled up in the actual hearings but we know move to a new stage, look at the evidence, speak to the attorney’s make sure that we each individually give some guidance as to what it is that we want to see in the report. Sometime the middle of January we will have an idea or at least a road map as to how we are going to proceed and what timeline if any we are going to impose on ourselves.”

Reporter: What assurances can the public have that these recommendations will be looked upon and will be acted upon?

Mark Lizarraga, Senator: “I think Senator Hulse was the one that implied that these changes will only come when we have pressure. I think the Belizean people have displayed tremendous interest in these proceedings. I think the Belizean people realize the seriousness of what was taking place in the department. I think everybody realizes that the Auditor General has done incredibly good work and that that work represents a small portion, the findings represent a small portion of what actually took place during only two years. So a lot needs to be done. We’ve heard from the present director a lot has been done but a lot needs to be done still and I think the Belizean people want to see persons held culpable, held responsible. At the end of the day, back to your original question we will be making recommendations as well to parliament and parliament needs to decide then how its going to instruct the executive to fix the problem — irrespective of you know the police and the work of the DPP, they are independent they should be independent and they should be take care of their responsibilities on their own but certainly our recommendations would be submitted to parliament.”



The Senate hearing was first started in November of 2016.