Updated: Dec. 5, 2008

Bajans, don’t get excited, I am not talking about Owen Seymour Arthur! It is the former Prime Minister of Belize!

My last post, Belize street protest against English Lord?, dealt with a demonstration that took place in August, but I now have a recent update. As I read it Prime Minister Said Musa is somehow being held responsible for the transfer of public money into private accounts. Wikipedia reports: “Musa has not since given any public statements, save for a single pre-recorded statement in which he revealed that parts of unaccounted monies gifted to Belize had been diverted to the Belize Bank (owned by British businessman and billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft).”

The Guardian Newspaper of Belize (Thursday, December 4, 2008 11:36 AM) has reported that former Prime Minister Said Musa is facing arrest for theft. (Recently BFP reported that the Barbados Government had given $19m of public money to a private company. I am sure that this was perfectly legal, so I don’t understand why Musa is in trouble.) Here is a quote from the Guardian:

The police department has prepared warrants for the arrest of former Prime Minister Said Musa and Ralph Fonseca.

As the Guardian had first reported on the Thursday November 6, Said Musa will have his day in court. That day has been scheduled for Thursday December 4. The Guardian confirmed that the Director of Public Prosecutions will be instructing the Police to effect an arrest and charge Said Musa for theft. Musa is expected to appear in Magistrate’s Court in Belmopan between 9 and 10a.m.

Update: Source Village View Source Thursday, December 4, 2008: Former Prime Minister of Belize Arrested for Theft

The former Prime Minister of Belize, Said Musa was arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today, Dec. 4th, 2008 on a charge of theft US $20 million of public funds. This money was a grant to the people of Belize by the Venezuelan Government for low income housing.

All of this reminds me of something! The Government of Barbados took land from Kingsland Estates without paying for it. (read Barbados Government expropriates Kingsland land but does not pay!) I wonder if this $22m of public money earmarked for the purchase ended up in private accounts?

Update Dec. 5 2008: Channel 5 Belize: Said Musa, Charged with Theft replies to charges:

“I am innocent of this charge of this charge and of any charges that they threaten to bring against me. I acted in good faith always when I secured the grants from Venezuela for the benefit of the Belizean people. what we have here happening is this government, this regime is trying to harass me, trying to shame me, but in fact they are shaming themselves because they are dragging our country, Belize, down to the level of a failed state where a rogue totalitarian regime is subverting the justice system, controlling the justice system, and using it and instructing people to use it to persecute and to jail their political opponents.”