On June 10th we reported on the case dismissal of the of a major drug case involving Ranchito Village resident 42 year old Robert Gentle and the discovery of six kilos of cocaine inside a luxury Lincoln Navigator SUV which was attempting to cross the Mexican border but which rushed back to the Belize side when the Mexican’s security system alerted them of something wrong.
The case was dismissed after the prosecution withdrew the matter on June 10th. We found out that the DPP’s office was not involved in the case which raised concern. Today the ComPol commented on the matter, indicating that he has issued a memo that no major case should be withdrawn without consultation with the DPP’s office.
Chester Williams, ComPol
“The persons were charged, the matter was before the court and I was notified about a week and a half ago that the matter was dismissed, I made some inquiries as to why was the matter dismissed and I was told that it was due to lack of evidence, the prosecutor believed that he did not had sufficient evidence to proceed to trial, I am not going to condemn the prosecutor at this stage because I have directed that PSB investigate the matter to see whether or not there was sufficient evidence and to see if there was any justification for the actions done by the prosecutor, I have since sent out a directive that when it comes to these major cases that the prosecutor cannot withdraw these matters without first consulting with Mr. Jones who is our legal advisor or Mrs. Alifa Elrington who is head of prosecution or the DPP office, I know that the DPP office has sent out a memo long ago stating that there are certain cases that the police can withdraw on our own without consulting her but I would still want that when it comes to major cases that we go to the DPP office to ensure that there is sufficient reasons for the prosecutor to not proceed further with a particular matter.”
We can confirm tonight however that the decision to withdraw the charges was carried out in consultation with the Police’s new prosecution branch and not the DPP. We are not sure if this is the new modus operandi but we will continue to monitor upcoming cases.