Elvin Penner back in court Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

The PUP backed organization, Citizens Organized For Liberty Through Action (COLA), has 4 weeks to come up with evidence against Cayo Northeast Area Representative Elvin Penner, or else the case draws closer to being struck out of court. He’s currently facing 2 criminal charges under the Belize Passport Act, and the Belize Nationality Act, in a private prosecution brought by Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren of COLA.

On Thursday, May 29, Penner went back before Magistrate Aretha Ford in the Belmopan Court for an adjournment, when COLA and their attorney, Kareem Musa, was supposed to have provided disclosure. Readers may be aware that when disclosure is promised, that is usually when the prosecutor is able to provide a copy of all the evidence against an accused person. It usually comes in the form of witness statements, exhibits and other materials that the prosecutor intends to use to convince the court that a defendant is guilty of a crime.

On Thursday’s adjournment, Musa was to provide the court and Elvin Penner with full disclosure about the evidence they have against Penner to prove that he did indeed violate the Immigration laws when he facilitated the South Korean Fugitive, Won Hong Kim, to get his fraudulent passport and nationality certificate.

COLA and their attorney have been making the media rounds, complaining all month long that the Auditor General, the Ombudsman, and the Commissioner of Police have not assisted them with getting the evidence they need to prosecute this case. That’s exactly what was put into writing before Magistrate Ford, after which, Musa asked for yet another adjournment for another month to get the evidence they need to prosecute the case.

Penner’s attorney, Ellis Arnold, objected to the adjournment on the grounds that COLA abused the legal process because they should have had enough from before they filed the charges. He told the court that if the prosecution was unable to provide any form of disclosure which satisfied the court that Penner should continue to be charged, then Magistrate Ford should move to strike the matter out.

Kareem Musa responded by providing what he called partial disclosure, committing to the fact that at the next adjournment, they will be able to provide full disclosure with all the information. After a 10 minute adjournment, Ellis Arnold renewed his objection to the adjournment be granted on the grounds that the partial disclosure that Musa had provided does not justify that Penner should continue to be charged.

After careful consideration, Magistrate Ford adjourned the case until June 26, which she declared to be the final adjournment for full disclosure.