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Yesterday the country was introduced to Barton Middleton otherwise popularly known as “Mr. Middleton” when he appeared before the Senate Select Committee hearing. Middleton according to two investigations carried out, the first by the Immigration Department, and the second, by the Auditor General, was named as the immigration agent who assisted businessman Patrick Tillett in obtaining visas for sale at $6,000 each. Tillett accused Middleton of fraud when despite collecting handsomely, Tillett was given visas that were improperly issued and later found to have been stolen from the Western border.


We showed you Middleton’s testimonies in which he claimed that all allegations against him were false. He outrightly denied knowing Immigration Officer Mark Tench and Patrick Tillett, and rejected statements made by Immigration Officer Inez Cassanova that she and Middleton would travel to Belize City at least twice a month.


When the Committee realised that Middleton was not cooperating with answers, they began to question him about other matters and that seemed to rub him the wrong way, so much that he declared that he was wasting his time.

 

Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“You introduce a very personal aspect of your life into this hearing this morning and that is that you suffered a tumor that had to be removed, could you tell us what were the conditions before you had to go under surgery?” 

 

Screen_Shot_2017-03-30_at_6.52.38_PMBarton Middleton


“The conditions in regards to the preparation of the surgery?”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“No the conditions you suffered.”


Barton Middleton


“Major headaches”

Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee

“That’s all?”

Barton Middleton

“Yes”

Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Did it cause you to forget things?”


Barton Middleton


“I don’t know I am not a doctor I don’t know.”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“No you personally had to know whether you forget things or not.”


Barton Middleton


“Well, I forget things all the time.”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“But before the surgery did you forget things?”


Barton Middleton

“Yes”

Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“And after the surgery you still forget things?”


Barton Middleton


“Yes”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“So you are telling us that a lot of the things that had happened before the surgery you forgot?”


Barton Middleton


“I forget a lot of things Sir that is it.”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“What do you do for a living Mr., Middleton?”


Barton Middleton


“I buy and sell used clothes.”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“How long have you been doing that?”


Barton Middleton


“Six years”


Reverend Pastor Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“How do you remember that?”


Barton Middleton


“Because that is what I do.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“You say you buy and sell clothes I think I heard?”


Barton Middleton


“Yes”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee

“Where do you sell clothes?”


Barton Middleton


“All over”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“What does that mean, what does all over mean?”


Barton Middleton


“It means that I buy the clothes and I put it in my vehicle and I drive around and ask people if they want to buy clothes.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Ok, you put the clothes in your vehicle and you drive around asking people if they want to buy clothes?”

 

Barton Middleton


“Yes”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee

 


“Ok, you drive around neighborhoods?”


Barton Middleton


“Yes”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Ok, where do you source your clothes from, is not from the US right?”


Barton Middleton


“No”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Where do you source it from?”


Barton Middleton


“A depot in Orange Walk”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Ok, when you say all over you mean all over Orange Walk or all over the country?”


Barton Middleton


“Orange Walk some Belize City, sometimes a few times.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“And that is the only source of income?”


Barton Middleton


“Yes”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“I am not asking these question because I am interested in your personal life the thing is that an allegation has been made that you were charging three thousand dollars for the sale of VISAS but you can’t recall you say you only trade in apparel so I am trying to determine what is the nature of the business maybe you were involved in bartering VISAS as well but you can’t recall. Is that possible that you don’t recall what you used to do?”


Barton Middleton


“Sir let me just make a statement: I don’t know anything about any VISAS stolen or otherwise so I was summons to come afore this committee because I was informed my name was being called in regards to VISAS being stolen and my duty as a citizen of Belize is to come here and answer your questions because it was a summon and once you summon you must appear by law, am here today and I feel that this on testimony given by different people that it’s a right for this committee to question me but I also believe that I am being bartered and I have to explain I don’t anything about any VISAS and as long as the questioning goes on I remain to tell you that I don’t know anything about any VISAS and what people have been saying about me that is their statement I don’t know these people and I resent the fact that to come here today and I feel that my time here is being wasted because I don’t know anything about any VISAS and yet I keep getting questions about VISAS so continue with your questions and I will respectfully answer your question the bet way I can but let me reiterate I don’t know anything about any VISAS stolen or otherwise.”

 

Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Were you ever in possession of Jamaican Immigration documents?”


Barton Middleton


“No Sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Jamaican Nationality documents, passports?”


Barton Middleton


“No Sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Were you ever in Jamaica?”


Barton Middleton


“No Sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Never”


Barton Middleton


“No Sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Have you been residing in Belize since birth?”


Barton Middleton


“Yes”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Is there no prolong period of time in which you resided outside of Belize?”


Barton Middleton


“Yes Sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Yes there was where you were?”


Barton Middleton


“United States”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“Did you ever left the US to go to Jamaica?”


Barton Middleton


“No sir.  Can I say something, when I read the summons to come here the summons explained this proceeding inquiry would have been about some stolen VISAS, am I right?”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“That this proceeding is about stolen VISAS, the entire reason why this investigation/inquiry came about as a result of eight stolen VISAS, yes.”


Barton Middleton


“Ok, I am being asked questions that I don’t think relates to what you said was going to be the questions I was going to be asked today, I want to know why I am been asked if I am living in Jamaica and I think I have a right to ask a question because as far as I know from what you guys are saying how does it relate to Jamaica and stolen VISAS, put that into context for me please.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Member Special Senate Select committee


“You see, I don’t really have to explain to you why I ask these questions likewise if you don’t understand that does mean that there is no rational for it, there are reasons why we asked questions.”


Similarly after the lunch break, Middleton opened the hearing with another statement in which Middleton suggested to the Senate that instead of focusing on 8 missing visas, there were bigger fish to fry.


Barton Middleton


“This proceeding has been in regards to, I got a question about my personal life and different things and which I don’t think relates to again the inquiry and maybe I don’t have a, this is not a question per say, this is a statement: what’s happening in our country in Belize I think to give eight stolen VISAS that you’ve mentioned so much precedents in regards to all the major crimes that has been going on in our country from our ministers and from all the other sections of government, I would want to say I think that this is a, I don’t want to mock the proceedings am just looking for the right word but I would just like to know if those other matters which I think I can’t say more important because they are all important but speaking in terms of passports being issued to the wrong people and people that weren’t here to receive passports or people that received nationality without being in the country and all that stuff, I just want to know if that stuff will be a part of this inquiry or because I see this as a distraction for stuff in that content that I think should take precedence to what’s going on here today so as a citizen of Belize I just would like to know if those people just for example Mr. Penner our former Immigration minister will he be called up here to this inquiry , to answer questions regarding to crimes that he committed or did commit, am not pointing fingers but as a citizen of Belize am concerned and I think that this is just focusing on me which I think there are bigger matter to be hot.”

 

Chairman Aldo Salazar did not entertain Middleton with a direct answer and only reminded Middleton that it was the issue of the missing visas that triggered the entire investigation.

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Comments

 
#2 Sunfrog SHirts 2017-04-04 01:44
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#1 TST 1700 2017-04-02 08:05
Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.
 

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