Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has decided that he will hear the case from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca on why the court should force the Commissioner of Police to investigate Elvin Penner for his role in the passport scandal.
 
As we’ve reported, early this month, the PUP retained attorney Edwin Flowers to write to Commissioner Allen Whylie demanding that he should direct his officers to commence a criminal investigation into former Minister of State Penner’s role in the issuance of a fraudulent passport to South Korean Won Hong Kim. Commissioner Whylie ignored the request, so the PUP took it to the next step by filing a Writ of Mandamus to let the court decide if it should compel the ComPol to do it.
 
That application was heard today before Chief Justice Benjamin, and after the hearing, the CJ decided that the case has merit and that he should allow the PUP to present their full case as to why the police have acted inappropriately when they didn’t investigate Penner. After the case, Fonseca spoke with the media. He said that while he is pleased with the outcome, he’s upset that a professional such as the Commissioner has to be compelled to serve the people:

 
Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition
"Well, we're very pleased that we've crossed the first hurdle. Today was an application seeking leave from the court to apply for judicial review of what we view as the Commissioner of Police's refusal to carry out an investigation into this matter. So, we're very pleased that we've crossed that first hurdle. The Chief Justice has ruled and granted leave for us to pursue this matter further. He has ruled and ordered that the matter will be heard on Friday at 10 o'clock. So we are to file our application today by 4 o'clock. The respondent, the Commissioner of Police has until tomorrow afternoon, at 4 p.m. to respond to our application, then the matter has been set down for hearing on Friday. So, we're pleased that we've crossed this hurdle, and we're pleased with the decision of the Chief Justice today, but I have to say that today is a sad day for the rule of law in Belize. It is a sad day for democracy, and quite frankly, I'm very angry that we have reached this very low point when we, the People's United Party, has had to come to court to effectively seek to force the Government of the Day, to force the State and the Commissioner of Police to act in the best interest of the Belizean people. It is the sworn duty and obligation of the Commissioner of Police to investigate any matter where there is evidence of criminal activity. The entire country has been speaking out on this matter for more than 5 months. It has been 5 months since this matter came to the public eye, and there has not been any investigation of Mr. Penner's conduct."
 

Attorneys Edwin Flowers, Anthony Sylvestre, and Kareem Musa all represented Fonseca today before the Chief Justice. The full hearing for this Writ of Mandamus will take place on Friday, and 7News will be there to tell you all about it.
 
The granting of a hearing so quickly is considered exceptional.

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