Supreme Court sends Orlando Vera back to prison to serve the remainder of his prison term Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:00

For more than six months, the Belize Police Department’s former Ballistic Examiner, Orlando Vera, has been behind bars after he was convicted for the offense of perverting the course of justice in the Michael Moderi gun related case. He was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment by the then Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.

On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, after waiting for more than a month to hear the outcome of his appeal, Judge Herbert Lord laid down his ruling in as many as 43 pages in the inferior appeal against Vera. He upheld the decision of the former Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. What this means for Vera is that he will have to return to prison and serve the remaining of his prison term.

On August 2, 2016, Vera was charged with the offence of abetment to pervert the course of justice. On some date between June 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015 in Belmopan, Vera instigated the commission of the crime by offering to tamper with evidence in the case against Michael Moderi for a firearm and ammunition charge.

For this offense, Vera was tried in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court between March 7, 2017 and June 2, 2017 before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The case was later brought to Belize City and on June 2, 2017, Vera was found guilty of the charge and was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment. On the day of his conviction, his attorney Anthony Sylvester filed a notice of appeal and on October 10, 2017, amended his grounds of appeal which was granted.

In the appeal, his attorney submitted that the decision was erroneous as there was no proof of judicial proceedings and various other reasons and that the sentence was excessive and harsh. In Justice Lord’s 43-page ruling, it was agreed that the evidence submitted against Vera was accepted.

Anthony has said that he will be appealing the case of Vera at the Court of Appeal but for now, he will first attempt to seek bail.