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#516064 - 07/19/16 10:56 AM Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade
Marty Offline

So that's the wrinkle late this evening – and we'll have more on it during the news, but all weekend long, just like everyone else, we've been trying to wrap our heads around it.  There are so many angles to this case and that's primarily because the accused is a mystery man – and one with lots of money, and this tentacles run deep into politics and law enforcement.  He goes by many names, but we'll start with William Alexander Mason.  That's the name on the birth certificate for a Guyanese man who is believed to be named Danny Ouelette – or he could also be Canadian Ted Ouelette, or he could be Belizean William Ferguson…those are all the names this man went by.  And if that makes your head spin – it's only the start for a man who claimed to be a vet, a pig farmer, a property developer, heck, he even said he was a chef – and he wasn't just talk, William Mason owned a mansion and a huge 160 acre ranch, among other valuable assets. 

He had been in Belize for at least three years, but on Friday, this alleged con man was wanted by police for questioning – not in relation to the Llewellyn Lucas murder – which the cops knew nothing about, but because he had extorted some major Cayo businessmen for over a hundred thousand dollars each; more on that later, but first, to his arrest.  A police officer came upon him on Friday in Belmopan City at the Barrio Fino bar, he knew Mason was wanted and proceeded to initiate a search of his pickup. At a press conference this morning, the acting commissioner of police explained what happened next:…

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"He was located at a bar in the city of Belmopan and when a search was conducted this is when we uncovered in a sack within a black colour bucket the head of Mr. Lucas. When the investigator arrived Mr. Mason explained that he could not find his key and he was very nervous. Hence the reason his driver side window glass was broken; search conducted. During the course of the investigation we uncovered that 4 other persons were also involved and by 4 am Saturday morning the 16th, all persons were taken into custody. An intensive search of his farm situated at mile 31 on the George Price Highway and his home on Intelco Hill in Belmopan was searched simultaneously for any evidence we could find. But what I want the nation to understand very clearly is that he was being sought for the purpose of an investigation. You will see while at this time they have been charged for one count of murder, one count of kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnapping. There will be other charges flowing through the week on other investigations that had been carried out. So you will then know that what I am saying is the facts and how we came upon this head. Had it not been conducting this investigation and was tracking this man trying to locate him; there is a possibility we would have been investigating a missing persons' report."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"You all made any progress in finding a body?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"We searched the farm and we found what appear to be burnt remains of a body as given to us during our interviews. That has been sent to the forensics for analysis."

Geovannie Brackett
"Will DNA be used in this with what apparently to be burnt remains to match it with the head?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Yes sir we have done extensive evidence gathering from all the scenes and I must tell you buckets, tapes, sacks and we are even going to call in the expert who is here visiting with and working with the forensics from outside to reconstruct the scene with him and go over it but everything was taken; clothing, footwear, everything that could lead to and give us some forensic answers to this."

"He was last seen alive about 1pm on Friday. We know he was taken to the farm on the George Price Highway where he was murdered and decapitated. During the course of our investigation we have uncovered that he was stabbed then decapitated."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"Acting Commissioner would you be able to speak about the motive, if you all have discovered a motive for the crime?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"So far we understand that there were some transaction being going on between these people and it appears that there was a fall out. What we see basically is this guy might have wronged them in some way and this is why the extent of what occurred, occurred."

Double Arraignment For Men Accused of Beheading Pastor

All this weekend, Belizeans were equally intrigued and horrified with the news that a Dangriga pastor, Llewellyn Lucas had been beheaded and a big money Belmopan based businessman was found with the pastor's head in the pan of his pickup truck.  Not only was it in the pan of his truck, the businessman was taking some drinks at a bar when police found the head in his truck!  It's the most bizarre case we've ever heard, and likely marks a disturbing first for Belize.   Yes, there have been beheadings, but a pastor's perfectly intact head – stored like a trophy – in a bucket in the pan of a wealthy man's pickup truck!?  It is truth stranger than fiction…

We'll have all the details you need tonight, but we start with what's happening right now. Belmopan police are scrambling to arraign the main suspect. He's 46 year-old William Mason, who also has a number of aliases and assumed names including Ted Oulette. Police say that over the weekend they found Pastor Llewellyn Lucas' head in Mason's vehicle. As a result, the cops arrested and charged Mason, 29 year-olds Keron Fernandez and Ashton Vanegas, and 30 year-old Terence Fernandez. They were supposed to be on the way to jail after being arraigned today in the Belmopan Magistrates Court on murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

But, it appears that the investigators were very hasty in the laying of charges in this most explosive murder, that they missed a crucial step. As part of the new criminal procedures, accused persons must be given their written facts at the date of arraignment. We understand that they did provide those but the evidence on the charge sheets couldn't substantiate the very serious capital offence that they were charged with. So, when the men were arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court, under heavy police guard and shielded from the media, the sitting Magistrate refused to read the charges to them. Having seen the difficulty facing the state, Herbert Panton, the attorney represented all the accused men, made submission to the court that the arraignment be adjourned for 14 days so that the prosecutor could get all their facts together to follow the rules of the court. Speaking to Courtney Weatherburne in Belmopan one hour ago, Panton told Courtney Weatherburne that he police mishandled the case form the outset – leading to a fiasco in Belmopan court today:..

Courtney Weatherburne
"Regarding your client known as Mr. Mason; the head of Pastor Lue was found in his truck. What do you have to say in terms of that part of this case or investigation, why was it in there?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"Well I have no idea why it was in there, neither just Mr. Mason nor any of the persons that were found with him. When they were detained at the bar they were taken to the police station. That truck was never searched in their presence so the top brass of the police can get on the media and call press conference and jump and holler all they want. From the very start of the detention of these gentlemen, they have breached every imaginable constitutional rights they have. When they were detained at 8:30 these men were taken to the police station. They were stripped of their clothes; they were interviewed from 8:30 the night to 4 o'clock in the morning. They were driven from Belmopan to San Ignacio in the pan of a truck naked. I have been up here on Saturday, it took me 9 hours to see my clients; I will still not able to see all of them. Went to Belmopan yesterday, when I finally saw one of my clients he was in his boxers. So it doesn't matter what kind of new policing measures they department is putting in place, all of that means nought if in arriving at an arrest you are going to breach the constitutional rights of individuals."

Courtney Weatherburne
"We understand that Mason and the other clients were drinking at a bar when the officers found the head in their truck. Is it Mason's truck?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"The truck belongs to Mr. Mason yes."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Sir tell us about the identity of Mason, that's the one in question. Could we talk about that, he goes by several names."

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"I have been retained by Mr. Mason, I don't know of no other aliases or identity as far as that is concerned."

Courtney Weatherburne
"So you don't know that he is under investigation for extortion?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"That's neither here or there for me. As far as I'm aware that is outside of the jurisdiction of this country, I have no power to deal with those matters."

Courtney Weatherburne
"The police officers also found the weapon buried underneath a pond at Mason's La Democracia farm as well, as well as the burnt remains of Mr. Llewellyn."

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"Police say that to you, they have not. They are tremendous more additional pieces of investigation that needs to happen before they can conclusively come to that conclusion. So that is nothing more than idle gossip at this juncture."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Can you confirm your clients all have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"No they have not been charged. I made submissions today. First of all they came here without any facts and wanted to arraign my clients. I made a submissions to the magistrate Ms. John particularly that the facts that were finally brought on the face of it does not disclose any evidence for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping or conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The prosecutor admitted that the facts do not disclose enough evidence to bring those charges. So they were not arraigned today. The matter has been adjourned to Belize City and they have been ordered to be released."

The prosecutor admitted to the Magistrate that the facts as stated before the court could not stand. So, the Magistrate agreed with Panton as defense, and refused to arraign the men. She then ordered the police to release them.

Knowing the gravity of the case and what was at stake, the police apparently disregarded the release order, detained them, and sent them back to the police station. As soon as they were inside the station, they were ordered to sign a release form, and that's when the cops let them leave through the back door of the station. Immediately after that, the police rearrested them, took them back inside, laid new charges, and then sent them to Belize City.

And, that's where it is at right now. The entire media is waiting at the Belize City Magistrate's Court for them to be arraigned, but it might not happen because all the Magistrates have left, the court has closed, and to make that happen, a magistrate would have to be re-engaged. Our news team is at court waiting, and if anything changes, we'll have that update for you.

The Mysterious “Mr. Mason”

Indeed, it appears that William Mason had many ongoing business transactions – both licit and illicit, including two with prominent businessmen from the Cayo District who he had allegedly extorted. Both made reports to police, but one of them withdrew the complaint and allegedly paid Mason one hundred and four thousand dollars, while the other fled the country, fearing for his family's safety.   That – along with his multiple bogus identities – is why he was under observation by Belmopan police – who, just by sheer luck - came upon him on Friday night – hours after Llewellyn Lucas had been be-headed.  Today police discussed the cases that he was under investigation for, and why they had taken so long to arrest him:…

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"We had an attempt kidnapping that occurred almost 2 months ago in the Western district."

Geovannie Brackett
"Of whom?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Another Canadian and his wife."

Reporter
"You've been investigating this gentleman for about 2 months or so since that attempted kidnapping report was filled. This is someone who was well known within Belmopan. Was he in fact detained for that incident, how is that we are just catching up to him?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"I will tell you that whilst Mr. Mason is a Guyanese he's a very cunning guy. The location that he is located for us to get in and search would have been problematic for us so when we had enough evidence to go on him, we decided to catch him outside and take him in where it will be safe for him, safe for the tactical unit go in."

Louis Wade - Plus TV News
"You called the accusation against Mr. Mason attempted kidnapping. The person who he kidnapped is currently in hiding in Canada. He was introduced to Mr. Mason by a minister of government; upon receiving or giving 300,000 dollars of which the carrier appears to have in Mr. Lucas. Upon refusal of the return of the money which would have been returned on Friday; previously when the money have not been returned to the Mennonite he was taken to this house with his wife under gunpoint, duct taped, kept below the house for an extended period of time. All of this was reported to the police more than a month ago. The Mennonite was taken on the highway by gunpoint where he agreed Mr. Mason to pay monies for his release which were paid to him inside BNE on the highway. All of this we understand the police had information of. How is that attempted kidnapping and not kidnapping? And why was Mr. Mason at that not arrested and charged?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Now the guy's in Canada and he will be in country very shortly and again what he told us in the first instance on land in Belize is something he told us different when he was in Canada. So again we need to re-interview him to see where the charged will go."

Jules Vasquez
"Why was he so hard to track down if there was a complaint which suggest that has operated criminally?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"As I mentioned the main information surrounding the Canadian in Cayo whilst we were investigating we needed to understand from him certain further information. Now he has agreed to come back in but our sole purpose was to search his house and I mentioned earlier the premises is set in such a way that it would have been problematic for us to go in. So we thought it best over 2 weeks ago to locate him and take him in. He's very evasive and very cunning."

Did The Well Connected William Mason Get Special Treatment?

But, even if he was evasive and cunning, how much of the delay in tracking him down was due to the fact that William Mason was a very big man in Belmopan?  In three years, he had insinuated himself into the company of many powerful and not so powerful people.  Today the media asked police minister John Saldivar if he was one of Mason's many friends – even after the Minister made it clear that there would be no special treatment for him:…

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"We want to make it absolutely clear that this investigation will be conducted with the greatest openness and transparency because there are no sacred cows in this investigation and no special connection that will give Mr. Mason any special privilege."

Geovannie Brackett
"Is he being well connected going to hinder the investigation? How will this be treated?"

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Well absolutely will not have any effect, I do not know who he is well connected to and I don't know what you mean by well connected. If you're asking the question if I know Mr. Mason obviously he is a resident of Belmopan and a business man and in terms of my direct involvement with him at some point last year he had made some contributions to my football club the Bandits but that is the extent of it. I have not heard or seen Mr. Mason since September last year; we do not at this time have any friendship. The reason for that is because I was provided with background information that convinced me that I ought not to have a relationship with this gentleman. The same information which I believe is now being seen on various internet sites and so prior to that we knew nothing of that gentleman until that information was brought to us. He represented himself to be an upright and outstanding business man who assisted in the community and assisted in sports and assisted in many other areas."

"But certainly I can say categorically for all those who may be the conspiracy theorist out there that Mr. Mason and I our involvement was only as far as sports meaning our football team was concerned. There was no other relationship or arrangement with Mr. Mason."

Jules Vasquez
"You have been to Mr. Mason's home, A and that B other of your colleagues in government in the cabinet those who are aligned with you are well known guests at that Intelco Hill house. What are you able to say about this?"

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"I can speak for myself and I can say to you as I have said previously Mr. Mason is a business man, Mr. Mason lives in Belmopan and prior to finding out any information about him he represented himself to be an upstanding person. My colleagues can speak for themselves but certainly for me I have no contact with him since September last year."

Jules Vasquez
"But previous to that you did go to his house."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Yes like I said I am not denying because at that time we knew nothing about his reputation or character but as soon as that became available certainly to me I stopped that association with him."

Reporter
"When you found out these unsavoury things about Mr. Mason as the minister of National Security did you sir prompted all officers to launch a formal investigation?"

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Actually I can reveal to you that my source was the police so they were aware of the allegations. I will also say to you that what I found and what we have found on the internet does not suggest that he was criminally charged with anything. These were all allegations but I thought that they were serious enough that for me from a personal standpoint that I ought not to maintain a relationship with this person."

Reporter
"The word on the ground is that Mr. Mason was one of your chief financial supporters..."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Absolutely not; he has never contributed to my political campaign and I have said it and I will repeat it again. My involvement and knowledge of Mr. Mason has been as a contributor to my football club and that is the end of that story. We have not had any other relationship, I know that he was sponsored many other clubs in our professional league. He was a business man to whom people went to for contribution and so that is in the ordinary case of things but no he has never contributed to my political campaign."

Jules Vasquez
"Multiple credible reports we have received was that the investigators, the police received calls from ministers urging them to please release this man, he's a well-known and reputable business person. Were such calls received?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"I must tell you when you talk about credible sources I don't know who we deemed to be those persons. When this was discovered the lead investigator called me immediately and briefed me on this. I left my home and returned back home 4 am Saturday morning. No call was made to me; no call was made to any of my officers."

Mason’s Gun License Suspicious

So, no one did favours for William Mason – but does his gun license suggest that someone bent the rules for him? The slot that should have the number of his passport is blank.  And, indeed, we are told that while he did have a Belizean birth certificate under the name William Mason, he never did get a Belizean passport under that name.  Today the media asked police about that license:…

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"I have never done any favour for Mr. Mason with respect to gun licenses so those are all false allegations. I have never done so and as I've already pointed out to you in answering you question it is the Commissioner of Police that approves gun licenses."

Reporter
"The file for Williams Mason when was applying for a gun licenses the only we are reliably informed within that file now is a police record. That police record is missing the passport number. Yes he's sighted as a Belizean citizen but his passport number is missing. There is no ID number to go by for him."

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"I don't know where you got your information but all applications of firearm has a police record attached, a vetting document attached, firearms application form and whatever other queries we would want."

Police found Mason with a nine millimetre pistol and a pump 12 shotgun – which he is seen proudly brandishing in this picture.  We are told that police are considering charging him with an unlicensed firearm since the name he got the licenses in is bogus.

Minister Saldivar Says He Had No Dispute With Pastor Lue

But, if Saldivar wasn't friendly with Mason, then he surely was a friend to Llewelyn Lucas.  He posted on his Facebook page today that Lucas was his childhood friend that they were altar boys and scouts together. But while Saldivar has fond reminiscences of Lucas who he calls a friend and brother, the feeling wasn't mutual.  Up to the end of June, Lucas was posting on his Facebook page that Saldivar wasn't helping him with a property issue.  Today Saldivar said that was a non-issue to him:…

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"I have not read his site. I will not get into the details of what I know about his issues within his family those are family issues I believe if that is the same thing you are talking about but it had absolutely nothing to do with me. I know that he had made a public plea for me to help him in his family dispute over the house but I did not see it fit for me to get involved in a family matter."

And while all this is background to what's looking like the most sensational story so far this year – the drama continue at this hour where the chief magistrate arrived at court half an hour ago for an unprecedented session of night court to arraign the accused: 46 year old William Mason, 29 year-olds Keron Fernandez and Ashton Vanegas, and 30 year-old Terence Fernandez.

Our team is just back from at court and we'll have that full story for you in our second segment…

Mason & Co.’s Second Arraignment Attempt Failed

Just before the news, we told you about the failure of the late evening arraignment of William Mason and the other men charged for Pastor Llewelyn beheading. Well, our news team only just came back from court, and the defence attorney, Herbert Panton told us why he thinks that his clients are being mistreated by what he calls a fiasco:

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"The prosecutor at the time indicated that he only needed a day and the matter was adjourned for 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon; the claim that the crime happened at the ranch at mile 31 which would place it in the Belize judicial district so the matter would have been brought before some magistrate here tomorrow. The magistrate in Belmopan also ordered that my clients be released because they had already gone way pass the 48 hour mandated by the constitution in which the police is authorized to hold them. Instead of having my clients walk out of court the police acted in breach of a court order, placed my clients back in the police vehicle, took them to the station and put in the lock up; after about a half hour of one senior officer giving one order and senior officer giving another order. It was ordered they be given their belongings and released one by one. Of course the police blocked the entrance so that they couldn't go through the front entrance, they could only go through the back and as they were in the back of the police station, they were detained again. And now if the police want to continue to breach the rights, the fundamental rights of these people, they can do so you know because yes my clients would be inconvenienced but at the end of the day even before we get to the evidence whatever the evidence is, this matter will go down the drain because of the way they have handled this investigation from the start. Implicating Mr. Blackett this morning at the press conference is contrary to the truth."

"The chief magistrate has left, she has said she will deal with it in the morning and that's the end of the matter here as far as tonight is concerned."

Reporter
"Any reason why?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"It's too late the building is already locked up, I can't find the caretaker it's too late."

Reporter
"So the men have to go back to where?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"Well I would hope that they would keep them here in Belize City."

Reporter
"So 9 o'clock tomorrow?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"Yes."

So, now the arraignment is set for tomorrow morning – and of course we will be there – still to come in this segment we'll have more on the William Mason mystery.

How Did Mason Get Into CEMO?

Throughout the news, you've heard all of the angles related to William Mason, also known as Ted Oulette, among many other names.

7 weeks ago, we were introduced to him, William Mason, businessman and supposed philanthropist extraordinaire as part of the City Emergency Management Organization's rescue and evacuation response

He claimed back then at the CEMO press conference that his outfit was equipped with generators which could quote, "light up a place like a football field". For reference, we re-air a portion of that interview in which he claimed to have a 25 member staff who were able to deploy a drone service at a moment's notice:

FILE (June 1, 2016) Phillip Willoughby - City Council, CEMO
"Whenever we hear the term emergency management, emergency planning, yes you hear at the head from NEMO then normally you would hear directly from myself and it would always me making these comments. So this time around I want you to hear directly from the experts who will be directly responsible for providing the actual safety, the actual ground work."

William Mason - Belize Medical Technology
"We have been invited many times to come out and provide the technical services like drone services, medical services and various different forms of evacuation services for the people within those areas. We have managed to have tremendous success with our team about 25 volunteers and we've always been known as being the guys who is on the scene any time as the first responder. We're fully equipped with all kinds of equipment; we have about 4 generators right now, lighting capacity to light up a place like a football field. We're ready to mobilize with our drones services as well."

So, how did CEMO get mixed up with a man who has a shady background and allegations of being a scammer? That's what we asked City Councillor Phillip Willoughby today. He's in charge of CEMO and told us that they thought Mason was legit, given that he came as part of the package deal of the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team, BDRRT. That's a volunteer rescue organization that has worked closely with NEMO many times. Here's how he explained the connection:

Phillip Willoughby - City Council, CEMO
"If you recall the flood event of 20th October 2015 when the country not limited to but in particular Belize City took a heavy hit with floods and rain etc. The search and rescue group from out of Spanish Lookout and the wider Cayo area that's known as BASAR or the search and rescue team that group of individuals was referred to us at the time by NEMO to render aid and assistance during the disaster. It was then that upon arrival to Belize City I formally met with the group, the team and the gentleman was a part of that group at the time. When the group came he came as a part of the group not as a single entity or an individual, he came as a part of group. That group like I mentioned provided the search and rescue during that disaster time for the Belize City area. Well after that you know make links with various group, organisations, volunteer groups. You keep them in your database that in your time of need if you need any assistance and it's voluntary you access these people or committees or agencies."

Daniel Ortiz
"Does this particular situation sort of put you on the spot to start to do background checks in all persons who want to offer their services so as a situation like this not to be repeated where your organisation that is doing all of this great work for Belize City is dragged in the mud?"

Phillip Willoughby - City Council, CEMO
"Most definitely I would agree with you there that background check needs to be done where groups are concerned and where individuals are concerned."

This afternoon, we spoke with Loyda Martinez, who was the Executive Director of BDRRT, which has now been renamed Belize Association for Search and Rescue. She told us that she has since resigned from the organization, but indeed he approached them to fund their organization. He appeared to be a legit businessman, but they did their background check and found the rip-off report allegations that he is a con-artist. She told us that BASAR started to distance themselves from William Mason, who insisted on telling people that he was a member of their organization. She told us that though he has continued to put on the facade, BASAR has put a great deal of distance between themselves and him.

Pastor Lue Was Loved

And while you've heard and seen so much about William Mason tonight as the supposed orchestrator of a beheading, what about the victim?  Well, in between the very involved police investigation and court updates, there is Lucas's grieving family who is waiting patiently for answers as to why their loved one was ruthlessly murdered. Today his Belmopan family told us off camera that they are still trying to come to terms with his death because "Pastor Lue" as he was affectionately called, was loved and respected by everyone. Lucas' sister told us that he left Belize for New York in 1990 to work in the family business with his brother. He lived in New York for about 14 years. During that time he studied to become a pastor. Lucas had just recently returned to Belize a couple years ago and was the head pastor of a Baptist church in Dangriga. Lucas also lead sermon's here at the Belmopan Baptist Church as well as other churches across the country. His sister told us she will always remember him as a vibrant and passionate person.

That passion was visible one year ago when he offered himself as an independent candidate in the Dangriga bye-election.  Lucas didn't have much of a shot at success but when Plus TV interviewed him on the morning of July 8th, he was upbeat, and optimistic:..

LLewellyn Lucas, Independent Candidate – "Nobody runs a race to lose. Maybe Paul Morgan did say on the TV that he didn't want to win but Pastor Lue come in as a winning man. Jesus is number one in God and number one in everything. And as his servant, I want to be number one. If not today,tomorrow but the machinery is in place that change and betterment has come whether Belizeans, Dangrigans want it or want it not. Let me tell you something, man. You see all this right now, man? This woulda mih neva happen had Pastor Lue neva stepped out. The blue party, the blue seat says, ‘you know what, we won't even contest cause we'll waste money.' But Pastor Lue stepped out, then blue came back then all the others came back. Let me tell you something, you see all this money spent, Mr. Dean Barrow said for nomination day he spent $900,000.00. For nomination day and wa spend 2 million dollars fi election. That alone, man, da victory fu Pastor Lue. So, thank you all for being here and spend some money da Dangriga, man!"

Again, that footage from plus tv from July 2015. Despite his undeniable optimism, Lucas only went on to get 14 votes in that election.  Lewellyn Lucas was 47 years old.

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#516089 - 07/20/16 10:52 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Pastor Lu’s Alleged Executioners In Jail

And, so that was yesterday evening in Belmopan…and then that leads back to the city last night where they were unable to get an audience in front of the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith due to the late hour.

Our news team was at the courthouse from the moment the police van arrived from Belmopan up to when it left, and then again today when they were brought back to court for arraignment and remand to the Belize Central Prison.

Daniel Ortiz has the full story starting with last night:

After racing the 5 defendants down from Belmopan to Belize City, a phalanx of police officers parked them at the footsteps of the Belize City Magistrate's Court. The door to let them out would only open if the cops were sure that they were going to be arraigned.

But, it was clearly after-hours, a hail-mary attempt with the court locked up tight for the end of the business day.

The stress and scenery of this high profile murder case must have had the cops on edge, and they displayed hostility to the press for trying to film the accused persons. They made sure to push the cameras and the media workers as far back as they could.

Officer
"Everybody please step back. Let's go, let's go, let's go; please step back."

But, the commotion was all for nothing because though the Chief Magistrate showed up after court hours, the court was clearly not equipped to operate at the whim of the prosecution, and without proper notice.

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"The chief magistrate has left, she has said she will deal with it in the morning and that's the end of the matter here as far as tonight is concerned."

Reporter
"Any reason why?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for Mr. Mason
"It's too late the building is already locked up, I can't find the caretaker it's too late." 

The cops tried again today, bringing a second round of fevered activity to the Belize City Magistrate's Court as the press tried to capture these accused men on camera, and their families gathered to show support for them.

Though Panton tried to block the arraignment of these men for a second time, the police prosecution came prepared this time. Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams gave a tour de force performance which demonstrated his usefulness as a trained attorney on the police's side.

ACP Chester Williams- Represented the Prosecution
"I was contacted by the commissioner yesterday evening and was told to deal with the matter of the arraignment and concerning the fact that the defendants do have attorney in the presence of Mr. Panton and he had made certain submissions at the court in Belmopan; it is only right that we match the defence in providing and attorney as well to deal with the matter on the prosecution side. Hence the reason I was allowed to step in and represent the prosecution in the arraignment today."

"Well it has a lot to do with the inexperience of the prosecutor who appeared in Belmopan yesterday and there are certain matters that were raised by the defence that of legal implication and it was only right that we make legal submissions on those submissions that he made yesterday. Hence the reason I went and I did my legal research and came up with authority to guide the court as it relates the fact that he was saying there was not sufficient evidence when on the face of it there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to indicate that these 5 men are indeed responsible for the death of Mr. LLewellyn Lucas."

Daniel Ortiz
"Can someone take away from this that because the police were trying to react and respond to the outrage of the general public as what had happened that is why these missteps happened yesterday and now you all are here trying to fix it up?"

ACP Chester Williams- Represented the Prosecution
"I don't think or I don't want to say that there was any misstep yesterday. I guess that the police did an arraignment in Belmopan yesterday and it was done the way other arraignments have been done but because of the sensitive nature of the offence and the fact that these men have legal representation and Mr. Panton is right to make submissions on behalf of his client that's what he's paid to do. The court is also obliged to listen to his submissions and if the submissions do make sense, are of legal implication then the court must act accordingly and that's what the court did yesterday."

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir was it a situation where you were arguing for arguing sake to try to keep your clients out of jail as long as possible?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"If you can find any attorney who argues for argument sake; no there were two fundamental tenants to our submissions. One is that this matter was already adjudicated on so if you bring the same facts before the court it amounts to forum shopping and basically the same facts came before the court with a little addition here and there that did not in any way change the nature of the tenuous nature of the facts. And secondly what ought to happen is that the prosecution ought to be given their 14 day to get all their facts together."

Daniel Ortiz
"The outcome that your clients are now remanded something you had been fighting against since yesterday."

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"Well the chief magistrate has ruled so we wait for disclosure to see the evidence that the prosecution has against my client. Disclosure is set for the 7th of September so we see what happens then."

But, while that's the final outcome, Panton reminded us that police, in his opinion, have breached the rights of the accused person. He pointed to instances this weekend which appear to be deliberate attempts to frustrate the protection of those rights.

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"It took me 9 hours before I was able to finally see those gentlemen. I was still not able to see 3 of them. I went back Sunday to San Ignacio police station to see those 2. Those 2 were in nothing more than boxers, nothing more than boxers the police still have not given them their clothes to put on since they were detained Friday night. There is one client who up to this very second I have not spoken to any at all. So the police can sit at these beautiful press conferences and speak about all the crime fighting measures that they are putting in place but if on the back end all they do is to breach the rights of the citizens; nothing that they put in place is going to work because everybody will continue to walk unless the police realise that a man must be given his full constitutional rights."

So, how did the prosecution convince the Chief Magistrate to proceed with the arraignment this time around? Well, as soon as the court was called into session, defence attorney Herbert Panton made submissions before the Chief Magistrate that she should not entertain the police. Panton told the court that once again, they had not satisfied the requirements of the new criminal procedure rules because these updated facts that were provided this time around was still not enough to substantiate the charge of murder. He added that the police should not be allowed to get away with depriving these men of their freedom on a whim, given that there is no bail for murder or kidnapping.

It was at that point that ACP Chester Williams, who's a trained attorney, made representation on behalf of the police prosecution that police have an airtight case against all 5 men, and he proceeded to lay down briefly what that case will look like in the Supreme Court. The Chief Magistrate agreed and ruled that the arraignment should move forward.

With that all 5 men were read their charges, and they were remanded to Prison. The Chief Magistrate has ordered that the prosecution must provide full disclosure by September 14. The case has also been given another adjournment of October 7 for case management, and it will get further hearings until they reach to the stage of the preliminary inquiry.

Pastor Lue Was Kidnapped Along With Two Others

Tonight, the 5 men charged for Pastor Lue's murder are in jail.  They are William "DANNY" Mason, Ashton Vanegas, Keron Fernandez, Terrence Fernandez, and Ernest Castillo.

We'll take you to the court room for a fully detailed account of all the courtroom drama, but first, we have the full police account of how exactly Pastor Llewelyn Lucas was killed.  Police revealed it today in court to convince the Chief Magistrate that there is sufficient evidence gathered against the accused men.

According to police investigation, on Friday afternoon, July 15, Mennonite David Dodd, Pastor Lue, and another man all went to Mason's Belmopan Home, in the Intelco area. Dodd told police that while there, they were kidnapped by an assailant who they did not see. They were tied up, duct taped, and blindfolded.

Dodd says that they were then led to a vehicle, which carried them for about 30 minutes, and when it stopped, they were taken out. They later realized that they had been taken to Mason's ranch, seen here, which is located between mile 30 and 31 on the George Price Highway.

The blindfolds were removed, and Dodd tells police that he didn't see Pastor Lue again, who was with them at Mason's house.

Dodd said that who he did see were the 5 men now accused of murder and kidnapping, and that's when William Mason and his 4 other associates threatened them and instructed them to leave the property and "pretend like nothing ever happened". The men walked out, and realized where they were, and as soon as they managed to get transportation, they reported the entire ordeal to police. 

That same evening a police Sargeant saw William Mason at Bario Fino Bar. He was in the company of the same 4 men who Dodd said he saw, and who are now charged. They smashed the glass of his truck after he was acting suspiciously, and that's when they found the pastor's head in bucket, which was in the back of the truck.

Yesterday, the Acting Commissioner of Police stressed that they discovered the head in the bucket by pure luck:

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Had it not been conducting this investigation and was tracking this man trying to locate him; there is a possibility we would have been investigating a missing persons' report."

And based on that luck, immediately after that explosive find, police started searching Mason's properties, and particularly the ranch where Dodd was taken. That's where they found what they believe to be the burnt remains of the Pastor's body. Acting on information, police then pumped sludge from a 10 foot pond. That took them an entire 2 days, and their efforts were rewarded when they found the knife, which they believe to be the murder weapon.
  
And, that brings us up to speed with what happened until yesterday when the cops tried to get these 5 men arraigned on the charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Jules Vasquez picks it up in Belmopan with the first failed attempt:

The Belmopan Magistrate's court was un-remarkable yesterday afternoon we could see police ambling over with suspects at the usual leisurely pace.

But at 3:30, the complexion and climate of the day changed when the Mobile Interdiction Team swooped in like Power Rangers and that's where the pushback began – telling the press that we were tampering in the investigation – whatever that means - and making room for the Belmopan equivalent of a Pincer Maneuver, with five police trucks positioning themselves so that the van with the suspects would be right at the courtroom door,

While the other trucks would form a cordon around it deliberately blocking the view of onlookers and the press As many as 20 police officers clumsily laying this scene with the kind of full court press we never see And larger than life firepower to back it up and one more truck to make sure no one saw or got close to the suspects

At about 4:00 the van doors were opened and the suspects, hidden behind the scrum of vehicles slipped into court, with the press pushed a hundred feet back.

This was no routine arraignment – in fact we've never seen one like it – and their attorney said the same applied in court:

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Accused
"So they were not arraigned today. The matter has been adjourned to Belize City and they have been ordered to be released."

They were released alright – right back into police custody! This was the scene at the Belmopan Police station around 5:00 pm when the MIT blocked off the station from the public the backdoor and the front door of the slender building was secured shoulder to shoulder and the police chased us again – keeping our camera away from the location where the suspects would be released and re-arrested

No matter how much we went back – it wasn't enough

Officer
"I gwen ask you kindly make you step way back for me alright? Kindly I the ask you that please step way da back there for me way behind that blue SUV."

And from there the silly scene unfolded as policed stood in formation blocking the gate in a slightly sad attempt at appearing to have things under lockdown – when really they were jumping through hoops to just complete a simple arraignment for murder.  If they had used this kind of display of manpower and vehicular resources search William Danny Mason's house on Intelco Hill months ago when criminal complaints against him first emerged – maybe the Pastor's beheading may have been averted.

The acting commissioner told the media yesterday that the house posed tactical problems:…

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"The premises is set in such a way that it would have been problematic for us to go in."

But it wasn't any tactical problem for the police minister who freely visited the house:

Jules Vasquez
"But previous to that you did go to his house."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Yes like I said I am not denying because at that time we knew nothing about his reputation or character."

Deputy PM Patrick Faber Took “Congratulatory Drinks” at Mason Manor

And, so, while William Danny Mason is locked down at the Hattieville Prison tonight, it's nothing like a night six weeks ago when he hosted the newly sworn in Deputy Prime Minister of Belize at his Belmopan home on Intelco Hill. 

Deputy Patrick Faber confirmed to us today that after the party for his supporters at Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan he went to Mason's home for some, quote, "congratulatory drinks."

Here's the full text of what Faber told us:

"I have met Mr Danny Mason twice. Once in 2015 via Minister John Saldivar and again on the day of my swearing in.  The reception after my swearing in…was done at the Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan…I received an invitation indirectly from Mr Mason to his home…to join him for congratulatory drinks.  I accepted that invitation.  That is the full extent of my relationship with the person that I knew as Danny Mason."

And from who did he get that "indirect" invitation?  Well, no other than Councillor Phillip Willoughby – who had already connected to Mason through CEMO.  We asked Faber if he received any campaign financing from Mason, and he says he did not.  Faber says he became aware of Mason's shady reputation after taking those congratulatory drinks on the night of June 7th. 

Of course, if we follow the police timeline, Mason had been under investigation for two months – which means that while he and the newly minted Deputy Prime Minister were having drinks – he was already under investigation for attempted kidnapping and extortion.

GSU Boss Posed Off With Mason

Mason hugging and it appears to have been taken on the sprawling top deck of that same hilltop mansion.  Flowers – who enjoys heavy political connections within the UDP – seems to have been a friend of Mason, and reliable reports tell us that lead members of the GSU were even known to go for private target practice training sessions at his mile 31 ranch, the same ranch that is now a murder scene.  We asked the Acting Commissioner about this yesterday – and he deflected:

Jules Vasquez
"Sir the GSU used to train on his ranch, outback ranch or his farm."

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Well the way it is situated I guess a lot of people would be shot in that area because it's a housing area also sir."

Of course, the ranch is over one hundred acres and only the front side faces Mahogany Heights.

Ripoff Report Had The Dirt On Mason Months Ago

Over the past 2 days, we've been telling you a lot about the man known as William Mason. He and 4 other associates are now at prison tonight for the beheading murder of William Mason.

Last night, we showed you the explanation that City Councillor Phillip Willoughby gave as to why this man got mixed up with the City Emergency Managment Organization. About a month and a half ago, only a few days after Mason was introduced publicly as part of the CEMO response mechanism for Belize City, an anonymous individual called our office. The purpose of that call was to alert us that this man, William Mason, may be a well-known con-artist who had been operating in Canada. 

That anonymous caller left very little information to go on but advised us to search the internet under a different alias. Unfortunately, we searched couldn't find the page he was trying to direct us to, but this gruesome murder has brought up that angle once again.

This weekend, another source pointed us to this website, ripoffreport.com. The purpose of the website appears to be to warn persons that a "Ted Oulette" has been preying on people. The allegation is that "Ted Oulette" may be one of the many aliases of William Mason, accused of scamming unsuspecting victims out of their money.

The site lists a number of persons who are very angry at their encounter with "Ted Oulette". They claim that he took advantage of their trust, and scammed them out of money. One poster even suggested that "Ted Oulette" is currently using another alias, "William Ferguson".
We're also obliged to tell you that this website does not appear to have official police links, and there is no evidence offered to prove these claims of scams that "Ted Oulette" allegedly committed.

There's another article on the internet from Starbroek news in Guyana which lists another man identified as "Raj Ouellet", with a varied spelling of the last name. In that news article from 2012, this "Raj Ouellet", identified as a Guyanese born individual who migrated to the US as a toddler, introduced a business enterprise claiming that he was going to invest 25 million US dollars. In Belize, a photograph of William Mason's passport has emerged which says that his real name is Rajesh Oulette, a Guyanese national.

Hulse says Bogus Birth Certificate Can Dupe The Whole System

As we showed you last night, William Danny Mason had a bogus birth certificate, which also got him a bogus social security card, but apparently not a Belizean passport.  The birth certificate is the stolen identity of a man born to Crooked Tree parents in 1970 – and according to the Immigration Minister with that document alone he could have duped the entire system.  Here's what Godwin Hulse told us yesterday:…

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"I only heard from you Jules this morning that he has some vital statistics document which of course you know if he has vital statistics document then it really has nothing to do with nationality it has to do with passports meaning he would have presented that but I have not had any opportunity to speak to any officer or indeed to follow up on it."

Jules Vasquez
"Would that bogus birth certificate would he have been able to dupe the entire system and get a passport?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"Oh yea easily but if you show up with a birth certificate and you have a social security card; picture on the social security card looks good. Remember birth certificates has no picture so I don't know who that is, had no finger print you don't know who that is. Man da the loosest document you can ever imagine. It goes back to the days when we had confidence in the nation and nobody lied. Not anymore so getting a vital statistics document seems to be very easy."

Geovannie Brackett
"A simple google search found scammed reports of this individual why wasn't this uncovered?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"Well I don't think if you look for William Mason that is what I am understanding. If you are looking for somebody else as some of your reports are saying then maybe but if you are looking for Williams Mason whom I saw a copy of a vital statistics given to me by Jules a while ago which says he was born in Crooked Tree well there would be nothing to look."

On His Last Day Pastor Lue Went To Plus TV and To Chester Williams Office, Got No Audience

Indeed, Mason, also known as Danny Ouelett, who is originally from Guyana could have hidden between so many layers of deception  – but his alleged victim Pastor Llewellyn Lucas could never hide.  Pastor Lu as he was known – was a public man – who was always trying to make himself be known and heard for his sometimes controversial worldviews.  On Friday we know he came in contact with at least two persons trying to get himself heard, first was someone at the Plus TV office in Belmopan where he want asking to go on air for their morning show.  But station owner Luis Wade, said because of his often controversial and outspoken positions, Pastor Lu had been put on a list limiting his access to the airwaves:…

Luis Wade - Plus TV
"We currently have a policy that certain people for libellous reasons are not able to access Plus TV without prior consent. Mr. Lucas was one such person so when he came to Plus TV Friday morning requesting to be on the staff could not give him access because I haven't given permission. My staff came to me today saying that he was preparing to do a demonstration against the LGBT."

Jules Vasquez
"What was your experience with him; was he in a rational state approaching the time of his death?"

Luis Wade - Plus TV
"I have not seen or spoken to him for months. I have to give the kind of answer that the minister gave because I haven't. But as I said he was on our list of people we had to go through a special kind of screening or vetting process. He was a very interesting person, he always had projects, always had projects up his sleeve and I can tell you that he was trusted by some of the Mennonite community that he was the carrier and I think they are people in the Mennonite community that need to speak about who introduced him to them in what capacity."

And probably after getting turned down at PLUS TV, Pastor Lu came to Belize City to visit ACP Chester Williams.  Today Williams posted on his facebook page, quote, "my secretary informed me that he went looking (for me) on Friday and waited there for a long while to see me but he never got the chance as I was out …I was told that after waiting for almost an hour he left. Who knows whey he was so eager to see me maybe he needed my help with something and who knows maybe if he had seen me he'd still be here today? This really torn me today because I would never know the answers. It appears he left my office straight to his death."  Williams says he did not know Pastor Lue.

City Mayor Speaks About Mason Connection

But police say William Mason did now the pastor and that they had business dealings, Only 7 weeks ago Mason was introduced by the City Council as Philanthropist extraordinaire, as he and his company "Belize Medical Technology," partnered with CEMO during this year's hurricane season. But just how closely associated is he with leading figures in the Belize City Council? Well today we asked the Mayor himself about his relation with the accused murderer of Pastor Lewellyn Lucas. 

Darrell Bradley - Belize City Major
"Before you mention that person's name I actually didn't know who you were talking about so that I have absolutely no relationship with that. I am not somebody who watches the news so that I was informed in relation to this because there was a crowd of people out of the court this morning and I don't know who that person is and the name that you mention didn't ring a bell."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"When he appears at a press conference hosted by the mayor and he actually speaks at the podium and he's touted as an expert. It gives him some sort of legitimacy."

Darrell Bradley - Belize City Major
"You are giving me news actually."

Emanuel Pech
"He was representing Belize Medical Technology."

Darrell Bradley - Belize City Major
"You actually are giving me news. I'm not disputing what you're saying but you Mike are giving the news. But I will say this that a person speaks at a press conference doesn't mean that I know that person. I am here with Mr. Raul Pelayo. I know Mr. Pelayo because Mr. Pelayo submitted a proposal to me. He professes to be a very knowledgeable person in the business that he's dealing with."

"But as it relates to Raul Pelayo the man and his personal life and anything he doesn't know me and I don't know him so that somebody speaks at a CEMO symposium or somebody works at CEMO means nothing."

At this moment we know of at least 5 UDP elected officials who have visited the Mason Mansion in Belmopan.

Channel 7


Top
#516097 - 07/20/16 11:32 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
PM press conference today at 10 on love fm. Assuming all he can announce are resignations and appointing outside investigators.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#516122 - 07/21/16 11:14 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Cops Explain Delay In Searching The Mason House

And we also asked both Acting Police Commissioner Russell Blackett and Police Minister John Saldivar why exactly did police take so long to make a move and arrest William Mason.

As viewers are aware, Blackett said in Monday's police press conference that the cops had been looking at Mason for at least 2 months based on other informal reports and suspicions of kidnapping, and un-reported allegations of extortion.

But, if the police were as muscular and on point as they were when they blocked the media form the Belmopan and Belize City courthouses,
Mason would have already been in police custody, and Pastor Lue might not have lost his life. So, what do the police say about that? That's what we asked both the minister and the acting top cop:

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"Do you understand the scepticisms of the public when the police department will say you know what we have been investigating this man a serious charge of kidnapping but we couldn't get into his area we had to wait till he came out? Then you have a picture emerging with the GSU head at this home."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"No I don't think that is what the police had said and I don't know if anybody explained it properly. What was explained to me by Mr. Blackett is that they preferred to apprehend him outside of home fearing that if they went to the gate which was at least two or three minutes to get to his home that we could have done whatever he needed to do in terms of hiding any evidence that maybe in his possession or in the home and so they didn't want to be sighted by him going into his property. So that everything that is there that would be evidence is preserved and I think it has turned out to be the right decision because now that they have been able to visit the premises without him having an opportunity to hide anything the evidence has been uncovered."

Daniel Ortiz
"But sir while it has worked out in that particular area someone lost his life because the police waited a while."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"I wouldn't want to put the death of this gentleman on the police that would be most unfair. We know that the gentleman had been working with Mr. Mason and whatever fallout they have I don't know if the police could have prevented that by any action. What had happened now we are able incarcerate him, we are able to get him jailed and we are going to prove our case against him."

Daniel Ortiz
"Some say that you all could have prevented the murder of Mr. LLewellyn Lucas."

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Some murders can be prevented and like I said the visit whoever officer or friends to that location is one thing. When we do certain investigation it's on a need to know basis that we do that. Everybody knows our department is not privy to what we are doing. Like in any other family you have children who you can trust and those you cannot trust and we as the head must look at these things not because we actually have information or evidence that someone is involved with illegal persons; persons of criminal intend but that we must ensure. We have something that is posted in the department order every so often that you must not associate with persons of questionable character, criminal character and this is something we have to look at. We have our code of conduct our code of ethics and anybody who falls along the waste sides is solely on them. Not the ministry not the commissioner of police, solely on that person."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"There was unusual security presence, police presence at the court room throughout the arraignment procedure from Belmopan to Belize City. Could you explain why because it seem like the police were keeping the media deliberately away from viewing these alleged murders."

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"No sir we did not know where the threat came from outside or within. If you look at the courts outside whenever people are being transferred to courts they even have on bulletproof vests because of course something you know they are being shot. You have to take all precautions understandably so. We have our tactical teams and this is the way we move prisoners who are high risk. We have the normal prisoners who might escape but once we have cases like these we deemed them to be high risk."


Saldivar, the Mason Intermediary to Cabinet?

And the media did have a chance to pursue some points with Police Minister John Saldivar today. Earlier we showed you how his Cabinet colleague, Frank "Pawpa" Mena, has publicly declared that it was Saldivar who introduced him to Mason. And last night, we told you how Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber said the same thing via text message.

So today, when we met him at another event, we asked him about the political blowback following the revelations that he was one of the high-ranking UDP ministers who Mason had befriended. Here's how that conversation went:

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"We have been able to find out that Mr. Mason's business was extortion. That for many years he was in the business of extortion using information received against people to get money from them. Let me ask you point blank were you ever a victim of such an extortion attempt by him or anybody that you know of the cabinet ministers who we have discovered use to go to his home?"

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"No I'm not aware of it and I have never been a victim. I do know of at least a couple other person who may have been like I said in my statement on Monday when I became aware last year of some of these things including what was on the internet that's when I realise this guy was no good and I disassociated myself from him."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"Can we ask you if you feel a little betrayed at the comment made by your colleague deputy prime minister Patrick Faber? Because he has to have known you have been taking a little bit of head because of Mr. Mason and yet in a text he seemingly deliberately mentioned that you are the one who introduced him to Mr. Mason."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Well I don't think we can hide from that fact and I've not tried to hide from the fact that I knew Mr. Mason and had dealings with him; had business with him in terms of my football team, had socialized with him. I have not tried to deny that fact and indeed minister Faber and myself and another minister had visited him on one occasion last year but I certainly do not take that to mean that any of us knew of his illicit activities or condoned it."

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir it is a concern of yours that no matter how you try your very best to defend your integrity there will always be those who question and say da man must have some other dealings that he's not sharing with us."

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"That is how politics is; I'm a political figure and I expect that people to try and attack my integrity that's what you do in trying to take my place in the political scheme of things but I know that the end of the day nothing can be unearthed that will suggest that I have done anything untoward with this gentleman. I'm confident of that and I reiterate that to the Belizean public. I think we all understand just as I have said and I sure they as angry as I am in terms of the fraud that gentleman has played on all of us. We did not know of his past and so many of us, many persons including the two that you've mentioned I guess were befriended by him and unfortunate we feel duped, we feel that we have been betrayed yes but what can we do? We did not know of his character until now."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"Is there a bit of concern and I'm not referring to you personally but there are many ministers who use to go to this man's home and it has been revealed that he has a very extensive surveillance system. I'm asking because Mr. Faber had said that he went to have congratulatory drinks. This man business again seems to have been extortion. Is there some concern about what the police may uncover that was recorded in that home?"

Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister
"Well I certainly do not have any concerns but what he may have recorded about my and I'm sure I think I have to put in a plug there for my ministers from what I know of them and nothing untoward took place in any of those visits to his. We were befriended by him we thought he was a genuine business man and it turned out that he wasn't but in the meantime we did have encounters with him."


PM Says Papa Got 10k From Mason, Papa Gives It Back

And while police are building their case, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was doing his own investigation yesterday when he had his Cabinet meeting.  The PM had to ask his ministers who all visited the Mason Manor, and who all received donations.  This morning after appearing on LOVE FM, he disclosed that Dangriga Representative and Minister of State Frank Pawpa Mena did receive campaign financing.  This revelation came as part of a wider conversation about who all had been to the house on the hill, cap in hand:…

Jules Vasquez
"Sir we know that at least two of your cabinet have conceded that they socialize at the home of this gentleman Mr. Mason. We know that at least 3 others we received reports senior ranking ministers were regulars at the house. Are you concerned about this?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"Of course I'm concerned because naturally there are certain conclusions, wrong conclusions I think being drawn in consequence. But as long as the acquaintanceship ministers had with him did not result in any kind of impropriety engaged in or sanctioned by ministers; we will just have to take the licks that the fact that optically it is not an ideal situation brings."

Jules Vasquez
"Have you questioned your ministers on whether they accepted money in the name of campaign financing from this gentleman?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"I have. The Pawpa Mena has said that the time of his bi-election there was a contribution made to that campaign from the fellow and how long ago was the bi-election? Last March or so; he's the only person who says that there was any sort of donation made with respect to political campaigns."

Reporter
"Was that figure disclosed?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"Yes he did say; He's not hiding it but I prefer you ask him. It was anything outrageous. In fact I will tell you he said that a 10,000 dollar contribution was made to his campaign."

Reporter
"What's the situation with the former deputy prime minster Vega; we are being told that he was the one who introduced Mason to the Mennonites?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"That's not true, that's absolutely not true."

Reporter
"You've asked him?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"Yes I tried to find out just yesterday in Cabinet everybody who had an acquaintanceship with the man because I need to know precisely to be able to answer your questions. That certainly is not true."

Reporter
"We are made to understand that it's at least 6 Cabinet ministers who have an acquaintance with Mr. Mason, correct?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"There can be no question of trying to hide from the fact but lord man just the extent of the questioning makes clear that you all mean to draw more from this than it properly can sustain. What it can sustain is what it is and I've already conceded that optically it is a problem for us politically but I insist there is no suggestion that the acquaintanceship that various ministers had with this man resulted in any kind of impropriety. I hope to god nobody will try to make the giant leap that seems to me lurking in the wings and suggest that ministers merely in consequence of an acquaintanceship is somehow guilty by association with respect to crimes that this gentleman is accused of having committed. Lord man we have to draw the line there."

Jules Vasquez
"However sir isn't there a practical effect because the police said they information for 2 months; 2 months in which Patrick Faber the deputy prime minister was having congratulatory drinks at his house that falls within the 2 month window. I'm saying it had a practical effect because they couldn't move on this house because I don't know it seems that he was untouchable and might that not be because of his close relationship with these very senior ministers including the police minister and including also the commander of the GSU?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"Man Jules first of all you make all sort of allegations that I don't know to be true but in terms of the substance there is no suggestion; I've been briefed by deputy commissioner Blackett from the start almost on a daily basis. There is not suggestion that at any point the police stained there hand in terms of shadowing this fellow in terms of surveillance because of any acquaintanceship that the fellow might have had with ministers."

And this evening a statement was issued from the divisional office of Frank Pawpa Mena.  It says, quote, "…one year ago, in the last bye election season, I received a campaign contribution from a businessman I knew as Danny Mason. In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to inform the public at large that about a year and a half ago I met Mr. Danny Mason through Dr. Henry Canton when he visited Dangriga expressing interest in the Commerce Bight Port. I was later taken to his residence prior to the bye-election by Minister John Saldivar.  Mr. Danny Mason, who was presented to me as a businessman, contributed $10,000 to my campaign. At no time did I promise to offer any special services or access by virtue of my position to Mr. Mason. The horrendous scenes unveiled over the last few days have been deeply troubling to me, my family and to all Belizeans. To that end, I am publicly returning all of the $10,000 contribution I received for my campaign from the man who I believed to be businessman Mr. Danny Mason. Please know that when I accepted this campaign contribution, I had no reason to believe that Mr. Mason was who he is now known to be.  I'm placing the $10,000 into an Escrow account to be used for some kind of charitable purpose." Of minor note is that Pastor Llewelyn Lucas also ran in that election as an independent and got 14 votes. 

And so Frank "Pawpa" Mena is, sort of, refunding his donation – but could so much of this drama had been saved if those who knew – like Minister John Saldivar – had acted n the interest of the public good and outed Danny Mason when he claims to have learned of his shady past in September of 2015?  Many, including his cabinet colleague Patrick Faber would have been at least warned about this unsavoury character who seemed to operate on the up and up.  And the Prime Minister also told us today that he learned of the Thiessen extortion three weeks ago:…

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"He had gyp a couple of people in Belmopan and so there was some knowledge of report circulating as to his being a con-man. There was never as far as I can determine any suggestion that the man was a would be murderer, a kidnapper; somebody who engaged in violence. As I indicated I did get a report maybe 3 weeks ago about his having kidnapped the Mennonite couple. I immediately called the minister of national security, called CEO Lovell and I was told well the Mennonite couple left the country. Did not make any report to the police; that was the first as far as the officials are telling me that there was any suggestion that this man is more than a con-man. And again the husband in terms of that couple was in a business relationship with him and it seems the kidnapping occurred as a consequence of having falling out of the allegation from the Mennonite that the man gypped him and when he tried to request an accounting this is when that sort of thing happened. But he left the country, he reported to his Spanish Lookout community who told an official of government who came to me. I immediately acted upon it but the people said he's gone obviously in fear for his life will not make any report to the police so there was nothing the police could do. But at that point certainly the question of surveilling this guy came into play that was 3 weeks ago. Before that as far as I can determine in my conversations with the national security officials there was never any suspicion that this was a violent type so that's where things were."

Jules Vasquez
"However if you isolate him from all the connections he has in the police, in your cabinet might they not have moved against with deliberate haste instead of dancing around the issue shadowing him when there were allegations known to me that he has extorted one well known Belmopan businessman and also this Mennonite."

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"Jules I insist that as far as the police are telling me no report was made. Certainly when I question them after the individual that I told you about came to see me about the Mennonite couple I did hear that well you know from CEO Lovell it is said that there are people in Belmopan that this man might have extorted but nobody has made any complaint so it had not reached the stage where it required the sort of police action that you are now saying in hindsight might have been undertaken."

Marisol Amaya - Krem
"Sir but Brackett said on Monday that police did speak with the couple before they fled and they spoke with the couple when they were in Canada and they gave conflicting reports so that contradicts what you are saying."

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"Marisol I am telling you that when I had that report and I spoke to the ministry of national security officials I was told that he Mennonites had made no official report, no complaint. That's not inconsistent with they perhaps said something informally to some police officers I don't know. There was as far as CEO Lovell told me no official complaint and the people had left the country. In the absence of an official report and in the absence of the victims from the country how on earth would be police be able to make an arrest? They couldn't have. Thank you all very much. Thank you very much man."

Marisol Amaya - Krem
"Sir do you know how much bandits received in financing from the gentleman?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
Ask the bandits people."

Marisol Amaya - Krem
"But you said you asked everyone what was their involvement."

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"They asked me about political donations, I have been honest and forthright in telling you what Minister Mena reported to me. I never question a football donation you can pursue that on your own. Thank you very much indeed."


Pastor Lu’s Kidnapping Captured On Surveillance Camera

And while police are looking at additional charges, the ones they have laid already got a major boost with surveillance video of the entire kidnapping of Mennonite David Dodd, Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, and another man, which happened on last week Friday afternoon.
  
As we have reported, William "Danny" Mason, is known to have an elaborate surveillance system set up at his mansion on Intelco Hill in Belmopan. But, it appears that this system he set up to secure his property, has become a part of his undoing. Police think that he either forgot to turn off those cameras, or he forgot to destroy the surveillance evidence of the crime caught on tape. While searching through Mason's property for evidence, the cops came upon the surveillance footage of that day, and those who've seen it say that it gives a play-by-play look the kidnapping of the 3 victims by Mason and his 4 fellow accused, Ashton Vanegas, Keron Fernandez, Terrence Fernandez, and Ernest Castillo. It also confirms the details of the kidnapping that one of the victims gave police.

Today, Acting Commissioner Russell Blackett confirmed to us that police are in possession of the footage, and he revealed a few of the details to us:

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"I must confirm that is true. This is a very thorough video and at present our experts at the police information technology unit are reviewing and again they have been doing that since Saturday morning all through yesterday. I myself took a look at it and I'm convinced that yes these people act callously and from what I have seen it shows that the conspiracy theory definitely is in place."

Daniel Ortiz
"Does this video show clearly the faces and identifies these five suspects beyond any doubt?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"This is an identifiable video. The investigator himself pointed him out by face as they moved about preparing the vehicle and placing the kidnappers and the deceased inside that truck."

Daniel Ortiz
"Have you even seen anything so gruesome as this? One would be shocked but I know you all at the police department very rarely are."

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"I have been doing investigations in the north mainly at the when there was when it was known as Rambo Town and yes I have seen some gruesome murders but not like this of late. The preparation and the calmness of the perpetrators, how they acted leads me to wonder what were in their minds."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News
"Sir was Pastor Lu alive when his head was cut off?"

Russell Blackett - Acting Commissioner of Police
"Well I do not know. He was taken from the house alive and as the investigation said he was stabbed before he was decapitated. I don't know our investigation teaches us that we cannot say if he was dead. It is the pathologist; we can only say apparently and I cannot say if he was dead when he was decapitated."

All 5 men are in prison after they were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.


The Man Mason Kidnapped Gives Police His Statement

Tonight, the William Danny Mason saga continues to unfold – and there are at least two major new revelations – one, about a video of the kidnapping of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and others, and second, about the story of another UDP elected official who got a donation from Mason – and now wants to give it back! 

But first we'll tell you about Lloyd Theissen.  He's the Mennonite businessman who ran away to Canada after William Danny Mason kidnapped him and his wife – and that's the unofficial report police keep saying they got weeks ago.

Well, now that Mason is in jail, Theissen returned to the country yesterday and made an official compliant to police - it is the first he has made.

Our police sources tell us that in the statement, Thiessen – who is a major grain producer - explains that Mason told him he is a shipping agent who could facilitate the importation of three hundred thousand dollars' worth of corn through Argentina – so Theissen fronted the money.

But, the shipment never materialized and it turns out Mason was running a con as a shipping agent – which he was not.  Theissen lost the shipment and told Mason to return his money – which didn't happen.  Thiessen kept pressing for it – and was invited to Mason's house for a meeting. That's where he and his wife were held by armed men, had their heads covered with hoods, and they were taken to Mason's ranch.  That's where Mason allegedly threatened them, and told not to say anything because he would find out through his deep connections inside the police department.  To top it off, Mason allegedly told Theissen that instead of getting back any money, Theissen would instead have to pay Mason $2,500 dollars weekly. 

After this, Thiessen did pay the extortion money for a few weeks and then fled the country for fear of his life.  He told police William "Danny" Mason introduced Pastor Llewellyn Lucas to him as his accountant and advisor.  Lucas was involved in meetings with Thiessen, and it was Lucas who delivered half of the three hundred thousand dollar payment to Mason.  Lucas was also involved in subsequent meetings when the deal went sour, according to the statement. 

Police will now use this statement – and are likely to bring more charges against Mason.


PUP Calls For Saldivar’s Removal, Independent Investigator

And the PUP says that both Saldivar and Blackett's police department have to go. The party held a press conference today to say that Saldivar is compromised by his past connection to Mason, and that also comprises the police department.  PUP Leader John Briceno explained why the cops cannot investigate their own boss:…

Hon. John Briceno - Leader of Opposition
"Minister Saldivar confessed that Mr. Mason had helped to sponsor his very expensive Belmopan Bandits semi-pro football team but insisted quote "He has never contributed to my political campaign." End of quote. We won't argue with national security Minister Saldivar with financing his semi-pro team isn't part and parcel of financing his political campaign but in September of last year both the police and Minister Saldivar had an opportunity to bring in Mr. Mason for questioning and possible arrest and expulsion from Belize and they didn't. If they had we submit Pastor Lucas would probably be alive today."

"It would seem that Mr. Mason, Ouellet, Rajeh, Ferguson whatever his name is provided unlimited financing to well-connected people and no doubt expected in return unlimited protection and financial gains. Everything we know this surd affair between William Mason and members of Mr. Barrow's Cabinet and by extension several police officers lead us to believe that the police cannot be expected to properly and exhaustively investigate this case. We therefore demand that an international impartial investigator be immediately commissioned. We also demand that a fully qualified forensic expert be brought in to gather and analyse the forensic evidence. All we have seen in the Penner passport scandal and the Edmond Castro visa scandal has convinced us that an impartial investigation is impossible under the circumstances."

"In light of this I call on the prime minister to urgently remove the minister of police from his post. We believe he can no longer be expected to preside impartially and without fear or favour over the ministry of national security and now how can we expect the police to investigate their own boss? The head of the GSU should be made to stand down. His character in now questionable and also minister of education and youth by his imprudent association to an international con-artist should at the very least be publicly reprimanded."

But – judging by the Prime Minister's comments today – he isn't even considering removing or re-assigning Saldivar.  So what will the PUP do if government ignores their demands – as the Barrow administration always seems to do?  That's what we asked the party leader and his deputy:….

Hon. John Briceno - Leader of Opposition
"So what we are going to do is that we want to meet also with the social partners and for them and us to jointly do something. This is not an issue that only affects the PUP; it affects every single one of us and we need to get everybody involved; our social partners, the churches, the unions, the teachers, the private sector. We have to be united and speak with one voice so that the prime minster can understand that the people are fed up and that he must and needs to make changes in his cabinet."

Hon. Cordel Hype - PUP Deputy Leader
"I think this is an issue that goes beyond party politics. This is an issue that has hit very hard across borders, across party lines and I think that every live Belizean feels passionately about what's happened and we have a responsibility to do something. We have a responsibility to engage the partners and if they don't come around then we have a responsibility to stand up and do something on our own. So we are going to make every effort to get them on board but if for any reason they are unwilling to so do then we as the responsible opposition has to take the lead and do what we have to do."

Channel 7


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#516141 - 07/22/16 11:03 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Police Foul Up: Theissen’s Kidnapper Gets Charged, Gets Free

Last night, we told you about the Mennonite Businessman, Lloyd Thiessen, who returned back to Belize to make a formal complaint against the now infamous William Danny Mason. Now that Mason is in jail, the couple felt secure enough to report to police exactly what they endured, allegedly at the hands of Mason and his associates. 

As we told you the businessman says that Mason swindled him out of 300 thousand dollars, and when he tried to get him money back, Mason and his associates kidnapped him, threatened him and extorted him.

Well, police charged Mason's Ranch Manager, Ryan Rhaburn, and after hours of uncertainty of whether or not they would or wouldn't arraign him they took him to before Magistrate Ladonna John in Belmopan. That arraignment failed twice today, and this afternoon during the second attempt, our newsteam was there to watch it fall apart:

Ryan Rhaburn, charged by police for the kidnapping of Mennonites, Lloyd Thiesen and his wife, walked into the Belmopan Magistrates Court, his hands cuffed and shackled to his feet. 

He was not given the heightened security treatment that his employer, William Mason aka "Ted Oulette", had received when he and his fellow defendants were being arraigned for murder and kidnapping. 

Still, the cops followed him into the court to make sure that he was properly in its precincts. Most unusually, and quite unlike his boss, Mason, he exited court less than an hour later free of the police. Apparently the cops had bungled his arraignment because the substance of his criminal charges did not stand up to Magistrate Ladonna John's scrutiny.

Rhaburn's attorney was satisfied that his client was able to go home after 96 hours in police detention:

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"It is the same thing as was the previous case with the other 5 clients and there is no need for Chester Williams to go and do any legal research on this one because it's the same thing. Whatever the facts are of the case the criminal procedure rule say that they ought to be represented to the defendant prior to arraignment. On the facts presented it must be established that there is a prima facie case. Now we're not dealing with evidence, evidence comes at the time of BI and the time of trail but when reading the facts you must be able to surmise that kidnapping which is the charge here actually occurred. And how does kidnapping occur? It occurs when you hold someone against his or her will. The facts say that 2 creole descent person, male persons held the Thiesens at the residence at Intelco Hill. The moment they were held against their will the kidnapping occurred. They said that they did not know the male person but if they saw them again they would be able to recognize them. They did not mention Mr. Rhaburn's name as to any of the two gentlemen at Intelco Hill. The facts further state that they were driven from Intelco Hill to the farm on the Western Highway. They had some kind of crocus sack or something over their head but through the little holes in that sack they were able to recognize Mr. Rhaburn. Now the kidnapping done happen so you recognize Mr. Rhaburn how do you connect Mr. Rhaburn to the kidnapping? Mr. Rhaburn works at the farm, Mr. Rhaburn is a farm manager."

"Mr. Rhaburn may have very well may have been attending the sheep, the pig, the cow, the goat whatever is on the farm and then the charge states of kidnapping at mile 30 and 31 which would put it in the Belize judicial district. But how could you kidnap at mile 30 and 31 if the Thiesens say they were held against their will at Intelco Hill?"

But, Panton says that he is sure that police will make another attempt to arrest and prosecute his client for this very same incident, something they are legally entitled to.

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"All that needs to happen if for the police to get their ducks in a row, put the facts together, put the charge together and come back and re-arrest my client and charge him."

Daniel Ortiz
"So sir he is not exactly free of this particular?"

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"I am certain they will come and charge and I had no problem with that on the first occasion. But all I am saying lord man you da the police force get your ducks in a row, get your act together."

So, that's where it is tonight, Rhaburn is released after several days in police custody, but the cops can bring the kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge a second time if they so choose, since he was not acquitted.


Cops Want To Talk To Mason’s Wife

And now Belmopan police are saying that William “Danny” Mason’s wife Melissa Ferguson is also wanted for questioning. Police have circulated this ID picture of her and say that she is a person of interest for Belmopan police. Now, her story is also interesting. Ferguson is a Canadian who has also been accused of shady business dealings in her home country – though the website with those allegations has been taken down. Ferguson has a Belizean work permit - which was recently renewed - and a social security card. Her ID says she is 56 and lives at Los Lagos. She was not at the Mason home on Intelco Hill in Belmopan when police searched it earlier this week. William “Danny” Mason who has many aliases also identified himself as William Ferguson.

Channel 7


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#516160 - 07/23/16 10:56 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Commentary: The brutal murder and beheading of a beloved pastor in Belize

By Wellington C. Ramos

On Saturday, July 16, 2016, I received a text from a family member that the police in Belmopan, Belize, had found the head of her relative Llewellyn Lucas, better known as “Pastor Lue” in a bucket in a vehicle belonging to a Canadian man. When I heard this I was shocked, amazed, angry, disgusted and in disbelief because I knew Pastor Leu when he was living here in New York City as a pastor and a real estate agent.

Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos has BAs in Political Science and History from Hunter College, NY, and an MA in Urban Studies from Long Island University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and History I called her immediately to reconfirm if what she had texted me was in fact true and she said yes. I then said to myself what did Pastor Leu do to this man or other individuals to be killed so brutally?

Then I also said to myself even if he did something to this man or other individuals, no human being has the right to take the life of another human being unless he or she is defending his, her or other peoples’ lives. I was so perplexed by this story that I even wondered why he was carrying Pastor Leu’s head in his vehicle.

As a former criminal investigator in the Criminal Investigation Branch in the Belize Police Force, I came to some possible reasons. There were a group of people who conspired and plotted to kill Pastor Leu. One of these individuals was given the task to make sure that he was killed.

That person was possibly told that they needed to have the head to prove that he was in fact killed. Without the head they will not be paid for killing him. Why? Because an intelligent killer will never walk around with any evidence to associate him or her with the crime he or she committed. Once the head of Pastor Leu was found in William Mason’s vehicle, he is responsible for the murder.

All the information that I was receiving was saying that it was a Canadian man. In my mind I kept on thinking that it was a white Canadian man. Why would this man come into our country to commit such a vicious crime? I thought about all the possible criminal charges, which are kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aiding and abetting murder, conspiracy to commit murder and murder. These are charges that, if this man and all the people who are involved are found guilty, will be liable to face the death penalty.

Despite the fact that the country of Belize has not executed anybody for murder in many years, the punishment is still death by hanging. The director of public prosecutions can ask the judge to impose the maximum punishment on these individuals due to the gruesome nature of this crime.

Death by hanging is a controversial issue in Belize and many other countries in the world today. Some people are for and some are against it. I am in support of capital punishment in some cases because many of the people who kill innocent citizens do not value other human beings’ lives.

When we listen to the news coming from Belize, almost every day somebody is being killed and it has become a routine. It is like some people in Belize do not value human life anymore. These killings in Belize must stop and we have to try something new because what we are doing is not working. All the people who have and are losing their loved ones know how it feels. Almost all Belizean citizens have had a loved one who was killed for no justifiable reason.

According to the police report, Pastor Leu was last seen alive on Friday, July 15, 2016, at 1:00 pm. He was kidnapped by these individuals, and then taken to William Mason’s farm where he was stabbed multiple times and then beheaded. The remainder of his body was burnt and the police are awaiting DNA testing to confirm that the remains found were his.

The police have arrested and charged the leader of the group, who has several names, for the killing of Pastor Leu: William Mason, a person of Indian descent born in Guyana, was a citizen of Canada but lost it due to a firearm conviction, went back to his hometown Guyana, arrived in Belize around 2012 with a Guyanese passport and then obtained a false Belizean birth certificate to get a Belizean passport. Also arrested with him were Keron Fernandez, Terrence Fernandez and Ashton Vanegas.

It is being alleged that Pastor Leu was probably killed because of a business transaction that went bad between him and William Mason. Whether this is true or not, we will know because there is an ongoing investigation taking place with the kidnapping of a Canadian Mennonite and his wife a month ago. Mason is a suspect in that kidnapping and about $300,000 ransom was demanded from the couple. Pastor Leu was the mediator or go between to receive the money from a source to deliver to Mason but he did not get all of the money from him.

The Mennonite from Canada will be coming back to Belize to give an official complaint to the Belmopan police about the kidnapping. Once that report is received by the Belize Police, it should clarify how much money was given to Pastor Leu, if any, to deliver to William Mason. The police are planning to also charge him for kidnapping the Mennonite and his wife, and possibly unlawful imprisonment and conversion of the money that was paid.

This investigation seems to be huge and will be ongoing. I think it will involve many other people and that could lead to additional charges being brought against them and others.

All this will not bring back the life of Pastor Leu because he is now dead and gone and left many grieving family members and friends mourning. I now appeal to all the relatives and friends of Pastor Leu to come together and get behind the government of Belize to make sure that justice is given to them for the brutal and unjustifiable death of their loved one.

For the police to discover the head of Pastor Leu in this man’s vehicle is what I call God’s divine Intervention. He was truly blessed indeed. Otherwise, his family would have just reported him as a missing person and these murderers would still be going around Belize, probably doing the same things to other Belizean citizens.

I also would like to take this opportunity to commend Assistant Commissioner of Police Russell Blackett and his team for a job well done. We worked together at Patrol Branch in the 1970s under the command of ASP Barber and George Grant before they retired from the Belize Police Force.

Our duty as police officers is to apprehend the people who commit crimes, despite their race, colour, creed, religion, social or political status. There will be times when pressure will come to turn the eye away from justice and to be a part of injustice but the consequences of such actions will be everlasting. This is not the time for anyone to turn their eyes away from this despicable act.

We all have loved ones and we want them to be here with us, until God call them home. We do not want them to go home because a person or a group of persons decided to end their lives. May the Good Lord enter Pastor Leu into his kingdom, until we all get to be with him one day. This is one journey we all cannot escape from, no matter how much money, power or status we possess on this Planet Earth.

Please keep these prophetic words in your mind, when you go about your daily business with fellow human beings like yourself.


Hulse Went Up The Hill, to Fetch A Lighthouse?

Since the story of accused murderer, kidnapper, and conman William "Danny" Mason broke on Monday, we've been trying to find out just how connected he is to the Barrow Administration.

So far, we've found out that he was well known to Police Minister John Saldivar, whose football club he contributed to. Prime Minister Dean Barrow disclosed that Minister of State Frank "Pawpa" Mena received a ten thousand dollar campaign contribution form Mason, which he now wants to give back. Then, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber went to Mason's Intelco Hill Mansion for "congratulatory drinks" after his swearing in ceremony in early June. And, today, when we asked, Immigration and Natural Resources Minister Godwin Hulse confirmed reports we'd been receiving that he also went up the Hill along with DPM Faber. Now, this would seem to conflict directly with what Hulse told the media on Monday when he said that he'd never seen Mason before – and now we learn that he's been to visit his house?  How does Hulse square that away?  Today he explained:

Mike Rudon
"Did you know Williams Mason? Were you ever at his home?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"I don't know him at all. I went on the swearing on of Patrick Faber. I was invited to a reception; had no idea where it was going to be. My driver followed the crew to where it was, we got to this building that looked like a restaurant. In fact I was told it was going to be a steak restaurant. They had a small bar with several tables around. I stood there and I spoke to Alexis Ferreda, Ruben Campos, Dean Williams a little group just basically at the entrance. It was raining like hell; I needed to get back to the office. I trotted through the rain went back to my office at 4, never had anything to eat, had 1 lighthouse beer which is a little odd because I normally no drink beer but just for the company and that was it. I had no idea this was a house, a mansion it look like a restaurant to me and I told it was going to be a streak restaurant. That was the beginning and the end of my association with the building. I had seen the building before, never entered it but I've seen it because there is a beautiful tree called Cortez Tree that blossoms every now and then a beautiful orange and where ever I see them I spot them. So one day I was driving along going up to place called Omega and I saw the trees, I turned down that road and took a picture of the beautiful trees. That's the beginning and end of my association with the building. Never met the man, didn't know if he had a wife, never knew who he was and never cared."


Mason’s Attorney Unfazed By Police Video of Abduction

And while Tracy Taegar-Panton says that she has never met William Mason, her husband, Herbert Panton has to do so, and that's because he is Mason's attorney – and he seems to have a very big defence to mount.

That's because on Wednesday, police revealed that they are in possession of surveillance footage confiscated from Mason's Intelco Hill Mansion in Belmopan. According to investigators, the video shows clearly how Mason and his other 5 defendants kidnapped Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, David Dodd, and another man while they were inside Mason's hilltop home on Friday, February 15. A few hours later, the cops found Pastor Lue's decapitated head inside Mason's truck.

With the evidence seemingly piling up against Mason and the other 5, we asked Herbert Panton yesterday evening about the apparently tough cause he'll have to defend his clients against when they get their day in court. But, Panton was still confident that the men could be acquitted:

Daniel Ortiz
"Now sir the police reviled yesterday that they have into possession of a video which shows your other 5 clients acting in concert, identities very well visible to kidnap Mr. David Dodd and Pastor Lu now deceased and another man. This is supposedly a game changer sir."

Herbert Panton - Attorney for the Defence
"All I will say is that from the very first press conference that the police top brass has had they have whipped this nation up into a frenzy and it is a frenzy with unrealistic expectations. I don't know what they have in their possession upon disclosure date I will get that information but they very well know that they continue to throw these piece meal information how they prejudice their own case."


A Crooked Birth Certificate For a Crooked Con

So, as the William "Danny" Mason saga continues to unravel, there a number of unanswered questions. We've managed to unearth several aliases of his. His Guyanese passport says that he is Rajesh Oulette, and that would make the name "William Mason", just one of the assumed identities. He's known also as Canadian "Ted Oulette", as "Raj Ouellet" - a variation on the spelling on the Guyanese passport, and there are reports suggesting that he has also identified himself as Belizean "William Ferguson", and we know that police are seeking his wife, Mellissa Ferguson.

Today, we asked Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse if he or the other Government Department heads have managed to find out just how he got hold of the fake birth certificate which says that he is from Crooked Tree. Hulse told us that the Attorney General's Ministry is still investigating that, but he knows for certain that Mason did not manage to get hold of a Belizean passport:

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"We found nothing I immediately after I left the press conference contacted the director of immigration and they people at the passport to research the file to see if he had gotten a passport and how he got it. From their record there is no record of him having a passport; a Belize passport that is. So that is where I am with it, we have left that open for continued research in terms of the electronic follow up of that process and to date everybody is saying no; no Mason applied, no passport. I have instructed them to look under the other names as well to see if any passport was issued under the other names so as of this interview that's the position."

Mike Rudon
"Sir have you been able to follow up the birth certificate angle of this?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"No absolutely not but I can tell you that the prime minister and cabinet instructed the attorney general who's responsible for vital statistics to look into that like post heist because of course that is a serious matter."

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir are you able to tell us have you all done any research as to how and when he entered the country? We've seen a document which says he's a Guyanese and his name is Rajesh Ouellet."

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"No not at this time also. This is an ongoing thing and I don't want to prejudice. No information has come back to me, I've simply said to the CEO and to the director and as you know the roll of immigration has been split functionally and supervisory so to speak or over sight. So they are working on that. I can assure you as soon as we get some information I will pass it to you."

Mike Rudon
"We have seen this happen in vital statistics before where people come up with these birth certificates and nothing happens. There seems to be no investigation, nobody follows it up and it just passes."

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"You are right and it's something that have troubled me for a long time this whole issue of a birth certificate that has no physical trace to the person. There's no finger print on it because it's a baby. There is no picture, there is nothing and so it's happening all over the world and I figure that vital statistics has to come up with a way. And that is why and I want to repeat this gentlemen; please that is why when we did the immigration thing we said move away from the JP because we know that story and please bring in some people we think would have some integrity. This is an issue that the whole national has to coal lest around."

Daniel Ortiz
"It may have seen time and time again where once one person gets one of these documents either the nationality passport or the birth certificate; all doors tend to open up afterwards where the different departments depend upon the due diligence that the others did. Have you all moved away from that to do your own investigations?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"That was why we set up that system so we would move away and just no accept social security card or some other thing. And if you talk to the people on the street they'll tell you oh that's a difficult process you have to go through hoops. I had a passport before and now I have to bring all of this again and it's cumbersome. But people need to understand that it's because of their very same mess we had to put in some systems to try to circumvent."

As you can see, the fake birth certificate says that He is "William Alexander Mason" born to parents James Mason, a farmer from Cooked Tree, and his common-law wife, Sharon Tillett.


Pastor Lu, They Reminisce Over You

For the entire week, you've been hearing about the different parts of the William "Danny" Mason saga, including the most horrifying element that he is the mastermind behind the beheading of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas.

Separate from the fine-tooth comb with which the media has been investigating Mason and his life in Belize, are the family and friends of Pastor Lue who are still trying to come to terms with his gruesome murder. Today, Plus TV Station Owner Louis Wade and Sharon Palacio, who is one of Pastor Lue's relatives discussed a candlelight vigil that they are putting together on Monday night in his honour. They told us why they want people from all over the country to join them:

Sharon Palacio - Pastor Lue's Family Member
"As we know grieving is never easy. Losing a loved is naturally rough and the news we received and the way it happened it is beyond our comprehension so there's no way I can say that; it's something we can't describe, it is horrible. You can imagine that even people who are not directly related, the entire country is mourning, everybody is mourning so you can image the immediate loved ones. You can imagine the atmosphere. Words cannot describe nor cannot express."

Louis Wade - Plus TV
"I've always said that in honour of people who die when we are moved by it that we need to do something for the living and so I was very glad that the family was willing to say yes this is something that Lue would have wanted. And I want to encourage people because the first set of anything that the logo will go on are these shirts for Llewellyn Lucas to encourage people because the funding from these shirts for the vigil for whatever takes place in the near future will go to the family. Because the family is now left with the financial burden, with the emotional burden, with the spiritual burden; all of the burdens and for many of us we give our condolences, we put RIP and then we move on."

Sharon Palacio - Pastor Lue's Family Member
"This vigil as I shared widely will be held on Monday the 25th. We will assemble at the May Gordon Park at 6 o'clock and the idea is to bring the entire country together. To look at what is happening in our country and to send a clear message that we're al vulnerable; that violence is something we should not take lightly."

The Vigil takes place on Monday evening at 6. Wade's facebook movement called, "Belize #Iwantmycountryback", is active and it is taking orders for the Pastor Lue T-Shirts. All proceeds will go toward assisting the family with the financial burdens they now have.

Channel 7


William Mason in hot, hot water!

Belizeans are still struggling to come to terms with the kidnapping and shocking beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, popularly known as “Pastor Lue,” which came to light last Friday night when Lucas’ head was discovered in the pan of a pickup belonging to, and driven by William Donny Mason, 46, who was born in Guyana but who, unaccountably, has a Belize birthpaper.

In connection with Lucas’ horrible death, police today released a picture of a woman, Mason’s girlfriend, Melissa Ferguson, 56, whom they are seeking for an interview. Police believe that she may still in the country.

The gruesome discovery and Mason’s arrest and exposure have been causing all kinds of problems for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, because information has come to light that Mason, who was reportedly deported from Canada to Guyana sometime between 2007 and 2010 for a firearm offence, had been wanted by police reportedly in connection with the “attempted kidnapping” of a Canadian man and his wife in Belize.

At least three government ministers have admitted links to Mason – Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, Minister of National Security John Saldivar and Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek’s area representative, Hon. Frank “Pawpa” Mena.

Furthermore, City Councilor and CEMO member (the Belize City version of NEMO (National Emergency Management Organization), Philip Willoughby, has been named as a good friend of Mason, and a picture has been in circulation that shows former Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) boss, Mark Flowers, together with a public officer who is also the manager of Hon. Saldivar’s football team, Belmopan Bandits, grinning and hugging Mason.

The undisputed information to the media is that some ruling politicians have frequented Mason’s home.

On Monday, the Ministry of National Security held a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza. Police revealed that three men, a Mennonite named David Dodd, Pastor Lue and another unidentified man went to William Mason’s home in Belmopan in the Intelco Hill area on Friday evening. According to police, all three men were subsequently tied up, blindfolded and duct-taped.

The bound-up men were then driven to Mason’s ranch, located between Mile 30 and 31 on the George Price Highway, said police.

Later, the blindfolds were removed from Dodd and the other man,but they noticed that Pastor Lue was not with them. Their abductors then threatened the two men to leave the property and to “pretend like nothing happened.”

However, the distraught men immediately reported the matter to police, who were already investigating Mason for another matter. Police nabbed Mason and several other men at the Bario Fino Bar in Belmopan in relation to that previous matter.

Upon conducting a search of Mason’s vehicle, the officers found Lucas’ freshly severed head in Mason’s Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Police had also retained a .9mm firearm and a shotgun from Mason.

On Saturday police visited Mason’s ranch and conducted a search which yielded a burnt corpse believed to be Pastor Lue’s body.

Mason and 4 other men believed to have been involved in that gruesome crime were remanded to prison on Tuesday.

At the Biltmore press conference, Acting Commissioner of Police, Russell Blackett, said that Mason was under investigation for an “attempted kidnapping” that had occurred almost two months ago.

That “attempted kidnapping” involved Mennonite businessman Lloyd Theissen and his wife, which was the reason they were looking for Mason.

Plus TV host and pastor, Louis Wade, corrected Blackett at the press conference, telling him that what happened to the Canadian and his wife was not “attempted kidnapping,” but, in fact, an actual act of kidnapping.

When Amandala spoke to Acting Commissioner Russell Blackett, he confirmed that according to statements received, Mason had given Theissen the impression that he was a shipping agent who could have facilitated the importation of three hundred thousand dollars’ worth of corn through Argentina.

Mason was paid in full and according to a statement given by Theissen, it was Pastor Lue who had delivered half of the payment to him.

The statements revealed that Mason had introduced Lucas to Thiessen as his accountant and advisor, and he had been involved in several meetings with them.

However, things turned sour after Mason failed to produce the shipment of corn and Theissen began to pressure him for the return of his money.

Theissen and his wife had been invited to Mason’s house for a business meeting almost two months ago. Things took a turn for the worse because when they arrived, they too, as had Pastor Lue and his friends, had been blindfolded, ducttaped, tied up and thereafter transported to Mason’s ranch.

They were thereafter released unharmed after they agreeded to make a weekly payment of $2,500 to Mason, which continued, until Theissen and his wife fled to Canada.

Thiessen returned to the country on Tuesday to make an official police complaint. Blackett told Amandala that Thiessen identified Mason and some other men in an identification parade.

Though tragic, Pastor Lue’s beheading revealed Mason’s long trail of deception. Though he has been listed as a Guyanese, with the name Rajesh Ouellet, in June 2015, Mason received a birth certificate as William Mason, born in Crooked Tree, Belize District. Later that month, he received a gun license.

It is anybody’s guess as to how Mason was able to penetrate the security mechanisms for receiving a birth certificate, supposedly put in place by the Barrow government. One thing is for sure: Mason is politically well-connected, especially to Minister of National Security John Saldivar, to whose football team Mason gave a reported $10,000, and to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who, after he was sworn in a Deputy Prime Minister, went to Mason’s house for a “congratulatory drink,” arranged, according to Faber, by City Councilor Philip Willoughby.

Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse could shed no light on how the Guyanese national managed to obtain a certificate saying that he was born in Belize.

At Monday’s press conference, Saldivar claimed that, “At some point last year he [Mason] had made some contributions to my football club, the Bandits, but that is the extent of it. I have not heard or seen Mr. Mason since September last year; we do not at this time have any friendship. The reason for that is because I was provided with background information that convinced me that I ought not to have a relationship with this gentleman.”

Yesterday, Wednesday, when the media spoke to DPM Patrick Faber, he said, “I have met Mr. Donny (William) Mason twice — once in 2015 via Minister John Saldivar and again on the day of my swearing in.

“The reception after my swearing in was done at the Chon San Palace in Belmopan. I received an invitation indirectly from Mr. Mason to come to his home to join him for congratulatory drinks. I accepted that invitation. That is the full extent of my relationship with the person that I knew as Donny Mason.”

It is clear, though, that the fallout from Pastor Lue’s murder is by no means over.

After Prime Minister Barrow confirmed that Hon. Frank “Pawpa” Mena, Minister of State with responsibility for the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, had received a campaign donation from Mason in the July 5, 2015 bye-election, Mena’s constituency office confirmed the PM’s remarks.

In a press release by Mena, he stated, “I was later taken to his residence prior to the bye-election by Minister John Saldivar. Mr. Donny Mason, who was presented to me as a businessman, contributed $10,000 to my campaign. At no time did I promise to offer any special services or access by virtue of my position to Mr. Mason.”

The People’s United Party, in a press conference held yesterday, Wednesday, called on the Prime Minister to remove Saldivar as head of the Ministry of National Security and to contract independent investigators for an investigation into the beheading of Pastor Lue.

Opposition Leader John Briceño stated: “It would seem that Mr. Mason, Ouellet, Rajeh, Ferguson, whatever his name is, provided unlimited financing to well-connected people and no doubt expected in return unlimited protection and financial gains.

“Everything we know of this absurd affair between William Mason and members of Mr. Barrow’s Cabinet and by extension several police officers lead us to believe that the police cannot be expected to properly and exhaustively investigate this case.

“We therefore demand that an international impartial investigator be immediately commissioned. We also demand that a fully qualified forensic expert be brought in to gather and analyze the forensic evidence. All we have seen in the Penner passport scandal and the Edmond Castro visa scandal has convinced us that an impartial investigation is impossible under the circumstances.”

Briceño further stated, “In light of this I call on the Prime Minister to urgently remove the Minister of Police from his post. We believe he can no longer be expected to preside impartially and without fear or favor over The Ministry of National Security, and now, how can we expect the police to investigate their own boss?”

“The head of the GSU should be made to stand down. His character in now questionable and also Minister of Education and Youth, by his imprudent association to an international con artist, should at the very least be publicly reprimanded,” Briceño said.

Police have since retrieved video footage of Lucas’ kidnapping. Deputy Commissioner Blackett yesterday told the media, “This is a very thorough video and at present our experts at the police information technology unit are reviewing it and again. They have been doing that since Saturday morning, all through yesterday.

“I myself took a look at it and I’m convinced that yes, these people acted callously and from what I have seen, it shows that the conspiracy theory definitely is in place.”

While this incident has raised national concern, this is not the country’s first beheading. In May of last year, Edilberto Madrid, who was believed to have been a close associate of Russell Hyde in Roaring Creek, was found headless floating in the Roaring Creek River.

Madrid’s friend, Steven Hyde, had been found hours before in a shallow grave in a state that police at the time considered “mutilated.”

Russell Hyde was later shot four times at close range with a shotgun.

Amandala


Top
#516215 - 07/26/16 10:56 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mason Gave 50K To The Belmopan Bandits

William Danny Mason and four others are charged for the savage murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, but the mystery of William Mason and his deep connections go much further - in fact, the more you dig, the dirtier it gets. Consider for example this fact: on the night was arrested, the first police unit sent to assist the arresting officer at a Bar in the Industrial site area of Belmopan? They actually turned back and left the arresting officer to fend for himself! And why? Well because they couldn't arrest a man who had done so much for them. Eventually, a second unit had to be sent to make the arrest. That's a fact which clearly illustrates how deep Mason's tentacles went into the corridors of policing and politics. His friendship with senior members of the UDP has been well publicized, and his area representative John Saldivar is the name that has been called most often. The Minister also admitted to receiving donations from Mason to fund his football club - the Belmopan Bandits. Today he confirmed to the media how much Mason gave - fifty thousand dollars. But in all the Minister's dealings with the now accused murderer, what did he truly know about the nature of Mason's enterprise? Today we asked him just that.

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Like I said, the red flags came up once the information was provided to me and I've said before, no there weren't any red flags before them. This man, even if you googled him name you would not have found anything on the name that he provided with us. It wasn't until someone provided us with another name which he may have been using that we were able to find the information. I have said it before and I repeat it, as soon as I found that information which were allegations at the time, I still disassociated myself from him. I haven't seen Mr. Mason since last year and that's the fact."

Reporter
"And there were no exchange of phone calls, text message, nothing like that since last year?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"I have not had any contact with Mr. Mason since last year, that's what I've said and I stand by that."

Emanuel Pech
"Of course he might have caught feelings, so to say, when you severed your relationship with him. Was there any such thing?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"I don't know, I haven't spoken to him so I don't know what his feelings were, I don't know anything about that and I won't make any assumptions about it."

Emanuel Pech
"He was a contributor to your football club. Did he ever make any contact to you to say 'what's going on? I contributed to you and you're not talking to me anymore.'?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"I basically disassociated myself from him and I think that speaks for itself. I disassociated myself."

Reporter
"Sir while you've admitted that yes there were contributions, can you give us an amount?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Well it was over a period of time but I would say in excess of 50,000 for sure. Semi-pro football is not a cheap venture as you know and he hasn't contributed for the last 2 seasons. He is not a part of my organization anymore."

Emanuel Pech
"Were there any conditions to that contribution?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Conditions like what? No, no conditions. He represented himself as somebody who loves sports. He had been contributing to other semi-pro football teams in the country at the time and he decided he wanted to help my team."

Reporter
"When he contributed to your football club, how was this done? Check? Cash? What?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Cash."

Reporter
"Didn't that raised any flags?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"What kind of flags would it raise Marisol? In the general course of things, we solicit sponsorships for various activates that we do, not just football but even community activities. Many of these are given by cash, that didn't raised any red flags at all and like I said, it was one payment of $50,000, it was over a period of time."

Hon. Saldivar Regrets Ever Meeting Mason

And from all that has been disclosed, we know that Saldivar introduced Mason to two of his Cabinet colleagues: Deputy PM Patrick Faber and Minister of State Frank Pawpa Mena. Saldivar, though, maintains that his dealings with Mason were strictly professional and kept to a bare minimum. But in hindsight, he says he would have never associated himself with a man of such questionable integrity and regrets ever meeting him.

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"In hindsight I am sure that all of us are regretting that we met this gentleman and had any dealings at all to do with him. the question that has come up in my mind, if you want to ask, is what more could we have done in terms of finding more about the background of this gentleman? I personally had googled him name and saw nothing negative about it and if somebody had not seen it fit to alert us, somebody who either found it on the internet or knew of him before, to tip off somebody and said 'hey you need to look further into this', if somebody hadn't done that, I'd probably still be his friend today. How much more can we do in terms of finding out about the backgrounds of these people? That part I regret, that I wasn't able to know more about this gentleman before I even accepted for him to help my football team. To stretch it from that to the other absurd things that I see appearing in videos and all sorts of other things is Ludacris and unfair to those of us who are in public office. The fact that I and other ministers knew this fella, cannot be taken to mean that we have been a part of any conspiracy, that we have been a part of any murder or any kidnapping. It just happens that we knew the gentleman."

Reporter
"How many times would you say you've been to his house?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Marisol, many times."

The Minister asserts that he met the Mason in his capacity as the owner of a popular football club.

Where Is Mason’s Wife?

And so while William DANNY Mason is spending his first few days of jail time on remand for the beheading of Pastor Lucas, his common law wife Melissa Ferguson is at large. Today police say they are looking for her as a person of interest in their investigation. But why now? We pressed National Security Minister Saldivar for an answer.

Reporter
"As the head of national security, didn't it raise any red flags for you when the police just started looking for his spouse/business partner girlfriend 5 days after this entire incident began unfolding?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"I guess the police would have their reasons and I'll have to depend on their expertise in that area why 5 days after that they decided. They know what they are doing and I trust in what they are doing."

Reporter
"Do you know if the police has put out that notice or sent out the information to Interpol on Ferguson?"

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"I believe they have. If you are searching for somebody, that's one of the first things that the police does - put out a search internationally."

Ferguson's drivers license says she lives at Los Lagos. We know that she had recently renewed her work permit and Social Security Card. According to reports she was not at the Intelco Hill will police searched the area last week. Police are asking the public if that if anyone knows of her whereabouts to please contact the nearest police station.

Channel 7


Top
#516246 - 07/27/16 08:55 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mason Complainant Lloyd Freissen Leaves Country

Well today the Mennonite at the center of the investigation has again left the country. 7News has confirmed that Lloyd Freissen flew out this afternoon - reportedly because he is still afraid for his and his family's safety.

As we have reported, Freissen is the centerpiece in the entire case of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. He is the one who alleges that Mason conned him out of three hundred thousand dollars - and then kidnapped him and his wife when he went to collect the money. In a 12 page statement, he told police that Mason introduced Pastor Lu as Mason's advisor and accountant - and the pastor was involved as a middleman in the transaction where Friessen paid Mason three hundred thousand dollars for a shipment of corn from Argentina which never arrived.

Well, Friessen today left his farm in Spanish Lookout in the care of his brother. He reportedly abandoned his home, left all the fertilizer in his warehouse, along with his equipment. His brother will manage the present corn crop that's in the ground, and pay off his arrears. Now, this isn't some subsistence farmer, Lloyd Freissen was known as one of the biggest corn and grain producers in Belize - but he just doesn't feel safe - and who would after being kidnapped and extorted? There's no certainty that he will be back - but his testimony would seem to be key to tying together the entire prosecution. This is because he claims that he paid Mason three hundred thousand dollars in two installments of 150 thousand dollars each, and that Pastor Llewelyn Lucas picked up the second installment. And you just hear Luis wade say that Lucas was the one later trying to get back Freiseen's money from Mason.

Channel 7


Top
#516266 - 07/28/16 11:09 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belmopan Pastor Almost Accompanied Lu

He almost went with Pastor Llewellyn Lucas…that's the story Belmopan Pastor Job Lopez told us yesterday.  He says that Lucas called him on the morning of the 15th – and he was with the two other pastors – who would later accompany him to Mason's house – only to be kidnapped together with Lu.  When their blindfolds were removed, Lucas had disappeared, and this is when it is believed he was beheaded. 

Well Job Lopez almost accompanied them – and he told us that it started with a call early that Friday morning from a desperate sounding Pastor Lu:…

Job Lopez - Almost Went With Pastor Lu
"I heard my phone ring and it was Pastor Lucas calling me and I said what can I help you with he said well I need you to come. I said where he said well I am at TV station, Plus TV. He says okay what we are doing and he said we need to go live, I said what for, he said come here I will explain to you. So when I heard that I heard that I heard like it was a desperate call. So I went there and he said we need to go live and we talk to pastor Wade and he said we can't go live right now because I don't know what you going to say so you need to anticipate what you are going to say then we go live so we could put it for next week. So pastor Lu say let's put it for next week; so I went out with them and he said you don't want to come along with us I said no I have groups to do, I have my work to do."

Jules Vasquez
"Did he say where you all would go together?"

Job Lopez - Almost Went With Pastor Lu
"No, he did not say."

Jules Vasquez
"So you are invited to go with them on the mission they went on which would eventually wind up at Mason's house?"

Job Lopez - Almost Went With Pastor Lu
"I guess; I don't know if they were taking me there or they just wanted me to spend time with them. That I didn't get."

Jules Vasquez
"You feel that you escaped a dangerous situation?"

Job Lopez - Almost Went With Pastor Lu
"I did. I do feel like that."

As we understand it, Lucas wanted to go on Plus TV to talk against LGBT groups – a riff he started on July 10th on his hometown radio station Wamalali radio when he want on a diatribe against Cabinet ministers who he says were overly sympathetic to the LGBT movement.

Police United Say Not Involved With Mason Megabucks

And keeping in line with football financing, when the matter of accused murderer William Mason first came into public view, one of the most widely reported masks he wore, was that of a football financier. That is actually how Hon. John Saldivar said he came to know Mason in the first place. Mason, as has been widely reported, donated several thousands of dollars to Saldviar's football club- the Belmopan Bandits. But there were also reports of Mason contributing to other football clubs in Belize. So was the Police United FC ever on Mason's payroll? After all he did appear to be rather friendly with senior members of the Government, particularly within the police department. Today the media asked Club Manager Superintendent Andres Makin Sr. just that. 

Duane Moody
"In terms of accused murderer Williams Mason that several football clubs have received donation sponsorship from him; is the Police United one of those clubs?"

Supt. Andres Makin Sr. - Manager, Police United FC
"I would prefer that this question be given or be asked to the president who is Mr. Grinage he is the one that would be in a better position to say."

Duane Moody
"Dr. Grinage?"

Supt. Andres Makin Sr. - Manager, Police United FC
"Right, he is the president of this club so he would be a more appropriate person to answer that question."

Duane Moody
"But as manager as you aware of anything like that any donations; because I know you said it was 200,000 dollars that you guys are trying to raise?"

Supt. Andres Makin Sr. - Manager, Police United FC
"We were trying to raise 200,000 dollars but definitely we have not gotten anything from Williams Mason as far as I'm concerned as the manager into this venture. This 200,000 dollars is from Champion's League itself and from other cooperate sponsors that we; Benny's, Belize Bank, Social Security and so forth."

Channel 7


Top
#516704 - 08/09/16 11:10 AM Re: Pastor Beheading Could Be The Crime of The Decade [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mason’s Wife Turns Herself Into Police

Melissa Ferguson, she's William Danny Mason's wife - and for two weeks now, police have been seeking her for questioning. Well, today she turned herself into Belmopan police in the company of her attorney Dickie Bradley.

This evening, we spoke with Bradley by phone, and he says that she has given them a statement. And now, the officers are in the process of combing through the evidence they have to test whether there are any inconsistencies between what she claims, and what other persons have told them in written statements:

Dickie Bradley - Attorney for Melissa Ferguson
"She has made contact with the police last week through myself saying that she wanted to come in and cooperate with authorities in relation to the investigation. Because of the hurricane, the officers had said that today would be a better day than that day last week. They knew that she was safely back in the country and they could get their hands on her whenever they wanted. So, the arrangement was so that she could go in and subject herself to interrogation and answer all questions and if they wanted, she was prepared to give a statement. All those things actually took place. She's been in custody for the past 6-7 hours being interrogated by officers Inspector Westby and Vasquez and the officers will no doubt spend some more hours going through that statement and the other statement that they have looking for any serious irregularities or discrepancies."

At this time, she is not being charged for any crime.

Channel 7


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