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#518389 - 10/19/16 05:32 AM Saldivar and Mason, Business Partners, Despite Denials
Marty Offline
With all the pressure on the Barrow Administration right now, the Prime Minister just can't afford anymore controversy. But the old William Mason scandal, and the accused murderer's business ties to former Police Minister John Saldivar is making news all over again.

It involves documents from the Belize Companies Registry, and the registry certificate for a business named Bandits Sport, which is presumably the parent company for Saldivar Belmopan Bandits Football Club. It's shows that there are 10 shares in the company. Saldivar owns 7, and the other 3 belongs to William Mason. It is signed by both men, and it is dated August 18, 2015.

This document proves that Mason is Saldivar's business partner in the company, which is something he had been denying since the gruesome murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas became public knowledge. Here he is, from our archives, repeatedly insisting as much:

FILE: July 25, 2016
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."

"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."

FILE: July 27, 2016
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

"...We had an arrangement for him to contribute to the Belmopan Bandits and like I said when I found out information about his background, I decided to disassociate myself from him and he has no longer made any contributions to the Bandits after that time..."

FILE: July 20, 2016
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."

So, what will the Prime Minister do when confronted with this knowledge? We asked him today, and we'll show you what he had to say. But first, here is Barrow explaining back on August 1 that Saldivar assured him that he has no business connection to William Mason:

FILE: August 1, 2016
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

"I said on Friday that at that juncture I was not prepared to move because optics aside, I did not think that anything that Minister Saldivar did amounted criminality or corruption. Nothing since Friday has occurred to make me depart from that point of view. But as was made clear in the question and answer session that we had on Friday, the optics also include the fact that while I have not run a poll and while I don't have any scientific evidence for saying this, the optics make clear that the public perception is that is untenable for Minister Saldivar to continue to head the police ministry in the current circumstances."

"Minister Saldivar has made clear that he terminated that relationship in September. He said this long ago at that first press conference. He has continue to maintain that position. He said maybe he is off by a few days, a week or so. But he assures me that contrary to some of the things that are being said he did not maintain a relationship with Mr. Mason through to as I have heard it the end of last year and some people say even extending into his year. I also indicated to you on Friday if that turns out not to be true, if in fact evidence and I mean evidence is unearthed, presented to me that would show conclusively that the minister continued in a relationship with Mr. Mason way beyond the point where he has assured me he'd stop, then that's an entirely different matter. I repeat what I'd said to you on Friday - if that ever happens, that's a whole different conversation."

"In fact let me be absolutely straight forward and blunt - the minister understands and accepts that if that were to happen, he would have to leave the cabinet entirely and he is perfectly at ease with that, because he insists that the facts are the facts and that those facts are that he did not continue his association with Mr. Mason."

PM Sends Saldivar Home Pending Legal Review Of Partnership With Danny Mason

Last night, we told you all about John Saldvivar's latest imbroglio. A document from the company's registry shows that in August of 2015, he and accused murderer William Danny Mason became business partners in a business named Belmopan Bandits Sporting Club Limited. Now, this is after Saldivar had denied being Mason's business partner. In his defence, Saldivar says he cut off all relations with Mason one month after that business was incorporated and says the company is now defunct.

But, the Prime Mister had said it would be another story if he found out that Mason and Saldivar were business partners - as had been claimed.

And, tonight, that story is unfolding, as The Office of the Prime Minister today announced that Minister of Defence, John Saldivar, "has been put on one week's leave of absence." That's a first for any cabinet minister, and according to a release, it's because, quote, "Saldivar has said that he took steps after September 2015 to put an end to the football business arrangement which had been formalized between him and Mr. Danny Mason via the August 2015 registration of a company in which they both became shareholders. The week's leave is to enable the Prime Minister to take legal advice on whether the steps the Minister took were enough to effectively sever the business relationship established between the Minister and Mr. Mason by the formation of the company." End quote.

We'll keep following the story.

Channel 7

#518521 - Yesterday at 12:07 PM Re: Saldivar and Mason, Business Partners, Despite Denials [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Hon. Saldivar Resumes Ministerial Duties

The Office of the Prime Minister announces that, after a one week suspension, the Hon. John Saldivar today resumed his duties as Minister of Defence. That resumption follows upon the Prime Minister's receipt of a legal opinion concerning the question of whether the Minister continued in a (football business) relationship with Danny Mason after September of 2015.

The opinion rejects as invalid any conclusion that the Minister, in consequence of the continued existence after September 2015 of a company in which both the Minister and Mr. Mason had subscribed to shares, continued in a business relationship with Mr. Mason. The opinion makes the point that after the company was formed, and no doubt because the Minister shortly thereafter made unsavory discoveries about Mr. Mason, the Minister took no steps to actually allot to himself or Mr. Mason any of the shares to which they had subscribed. This meant that they never actually became shareholders and the company never got off the ground. The opinion says:

"14. It is important to emphasize that there is no allegation that Hon. Saldivar interacted or associated with Mr. Mason in any way after he said he terminated contact with Mr Mason. It is not alleged he did anything. The charge against him is solely that by remaining a shareholder, in common with Mr. Mason, in a company which apparently never did anything after it was incorporated, Hon. Saldivar thereby remained in a business relationship with Mr. Mason"

"15. That is a purely legalistic argument. For the reasons stated above it is wrong. Common ownership of shares in a moribund company does not put shareholders in a business relationship with each other. There has to be some action by one in relation to the other for there to be a relationship. As stated, there is no suggestion of action on the part of Hon. Saldivar."

Both because the company never actually issued the seven, or any shares to which the Hon. Saldivar had subscribed, and because the Hon. Saldivar took no action, after the formation of the company, in relation to Mr. Mason except to terminate contact with him, the opinion concludes that Hon. Saldivar was not in a business or other relationship with Mr. Mason after September 2015.

In light of this, the Prime Minister was pleased to clear Hon. Saldivar and direct full resumption of his Ministerial authority and portfolio duties.

John Saldivar Reinstated As Defense Minister

After a most unusual one-week suspension, John Saldivar is back as Minister of Defence tonight. Saldivar was put temporarily on ice while the Prime Minister got a legal opinion on whether he and William Danny Mason were actually business partners. This, after the certificate of registration for a company called Bandits Sport was revealed. It showed Saldivar and Mason as joint shareholders.

Saldivar said he abandoned that partnership when he got information that Mason had a shady business history, and he went on to form another company.

Well, the Prime Minister wasn't quote convinced and he had pledged to seriously review the matter if evidence did she that Saldivar and Mason were in business.

And - while there is an inescapable political logic to the entire affair, the PM went for a legal opinion. And, that opinion says that Saldivar is in the clear. The un-named source of the political opinion concludes - to quote from a government press release, that "after the company was formed...(Saldivar) took no steps to actually allot to himself or Mr. Mason any of the shares to which they had subscribed. This meant that they never actually became shareholders and the company never got off the ground." That's the board conclusion, but the even more finessed legal version states as follows (quote):

"...there is no allegation that Hon. Saldivar interacted or associated with Mr. Mason in any way after he said he terminated contact with Mr Mason. It is not alleged he did anything. The charge against him is solely that by remaining a shareholder, in common with Mr. Mason, in a company which apparently never did anything after it was incorporated, Hon. Saldivar thereby remained in a business relationship with Mr. Mason"

"15. That is a purely legalistic argument. For the reasons stated above it is wrong. Common ownership of shares in a moribund company does not put shareholders in a business relationship with each other."

And while that is a legal opinion, political opinion is usually not so forgiving, but, it appears that coming off a week of unprecedented Cabinet upheaval, the Prime Minister can scarcely afford to exile another minister to political purgatory.

Putting as good a face on it as possible, the government press release merrily concludes, "the Prime Minister was pleased to clear Hon. Saldivar and direct full resumption of his Ministerial authority and portfolio duties."

Our news team was in Belmopan for the end of the Cabinet Meeting to try to get a few clarifications from those Ministers who attended. Now, as viewers know, there is a confidentiality clause, so trying to get specifics from the ministers who do indulge us in an interview is always like pulling teeth. They aren't able to speak freely since Cabinet business is to be kept confidential. We did get an opportunity to speak with Ministers "Boots" Martinez and Godwin Hulse, who are always forthcoming with press encounters, and they discussed the reinstatement of their Ministerial Colleague, John Saldivar:

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Cabinet Minister
"It was a basic legal opinion and in my view I am happy to say that the legal opinion vindicated my colleague, at least cleared my colleague."

"Whose legal opinion was it sir?"

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Cabinet Minister
"I don't know whose legal opinion. It was a legal opinion that was presented to the Prime Minister and I think that I would want to refer to that legal opinion or have the question to directly whose legal opinion was it by the Prime Minister."

Daniel Ortiz, 7News
"Given that this is the outcome, were you in communication with Mr. Saldivar last week or did you discuss this with him that the decision of the Prime Minister to have him sit out ministerial duties for one week?"

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Cabinet Minister
"Well it was discuss at Cabinet. At least the release of last week cabinet say that it was discussed at cabinet and a decision was made by the Prime Minister at the time."

"From I look at the situation last week as an ordinary citizen, not even as a minister looking on the documents that was presented, I my humble opinion I think it was in August of 2015 - in my humble opinion also to Minister Saldivar stating that he severed ties with Mr. Mason in September of last year. I might had a different opinion had the documents been after September of last year."

Hon. Godwin Hulse, Cabinet Minister
"The Prime Minister has shared with us and the opinion is that with respect to the company, that shares were not issued and really there was no functioning company. They were subscribe, but they were not issued, so it cannot say that the man had a business relationship, because the company was just paper. No shares were issued and as a consequence, there could be no relationship. That is my general understanding. I'll say no more on the matter because it's a very legal thing."

Daniel Ortiz, 7News
"You as a minister, your integrity is being questioned. Would it nor have been prudent to jus disclose everything and just say see this is all of it on the line, I have nothing else to hide?"

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Cabinet Minister
"That is not a question for me sir."

Daniel Ortiz, 7News
"Were you in that position..."

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Cabinet Minister
"Listen to me - then you are asking me to answer for a man. I am not in that position, so I won't pretend to answer what will happen being in that position."

Daniel Ortiz, 7News
"Having a document which says that shares, even in a defunct company. Shouldn't that have been something anybody would have want to disclose? 'See I am giving you everything, there is nothing to hide.'"

Hon. Godwin Hulse, Cabinet Minister
"The man said it's from September and from September he said I had no further business relationship or no business relationship. If that is what the opinion said that that is not a business relationship, I have to accept that."

So, while the Prime Minister's unnamed attorney concludes that there is no business relationship between John Saldivar and William Mason, we have found out that simply leaving a company untouched, with no activity, is not enough for it disappear under the Companies Act. We have done some checks at the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry. The company, Belmopan Bandits Sporting Club Limited, which currently recognizes Saldivar and Mason as 70-30 business partners, is still registered. The Saldivar camp's position on this company, which they say is not the parent company for the Belmopan Bandits Football Club, is that it is"defunct". That means that it is not functioning at all. Well, the Companies Registry Department still recognizes it as limited liability entity, and they are legally obliged to do so until either of the two directors, William Mason, who's in jail, or John Saldivar, go in and apply for it to be de-registered. Right now, the Companies Registry is expecting either of the two directors to go in and file financial statements on this company.

The experts tell us that such dormant companies could still exist in law for 10 years before the registrar starts to take steps remove it. For that to happen, the Registrar will have to print notices in the Government Gazette for up to 6 months to get the directors of companies to come in and update information on it. The company is then dissolved, and all its assets are then liquidated.

Neither of the Directors of the Belmopan Bandits Sporting Club Limited have take any of these steps, so as of right now, this is what is in the Companies Registry File. We do note that on August 22, 2016, John Saldivar went to the Companies Registry to register the business name "Bandits Sports". The Saldivar camp explained that this was the new name for the Belmopan Bandits organization, which they took on as part of a renaming exercise. Interestingly, Saldivar did this 5 weeks after the William Mason was accused of being the mastermind in the Pastor Llewelyn Lucas beheading murder.

Channel 7


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