DPP Confirms Former Prime Minister Said Musa Will Be Arrested
It’s been rumoured since February, but now, best reports say that within the next few days - former Prime Minister Said Musa will be arrested and charged criminally for diverting the $20 million in Venezuelan grant funds to the Belize Bank to pay the Universal Hospital debt. This afternoon Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Branker Taitt confirmed the report which was the headline story in today’s Guardian Newspaper.
She declined an on-camera interview and wouldn’t go into details, but Branker-Taitt told 7NEWS that, “within the next few days the former Prime Minister and other persons will be charged for the diversion of the money from Venezuela." She wouldn’t say what will be the charges and who the other persons are. She did however say those “other persons” could include “other ministers” in Musa’s Cabinet.
DPP Branker-Taitt says more charges will follow for other instances of alleged wrongdoing in the Musa administration, but again declined to give details. Branker-Taitt says it is improper for her to comment on an ongoing investigation and that she’s simply responding to the report in today’s Guardian Newspaper.
But contrary to that report, she stressed that the charges are not the result of a fulfilment of any promise by the Barrow administration to arrest Said Musa. She says it was an independent decision made by her office after interviews and investigation.
You may remember the $20 million has been returned to the Government of Belize – though its ownership is still being disputed in an Arbitral Council in London and the high courts here in Belize. The Belize Bank returned the money basically after it was forced to do so by a directive of the Central Bank and with its President Phil Johnson under threat of arrest.