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How Will the UDP Solve A Problem Like Maria?
Wed, January 11, 2017

So, after another 4 hours in the hot seat, Maria Marin is finally done with the Senate inquiry. The Committee reserves the right to call her back for additional testimony. When we approached her for an interview, her attorney, Darrell Bradley said that she is unable to speak at this time.

But he did give us his view of her 2 days of testimony:

Darrell Bradley - Attorney for Maria Marin
"I want to first of all make the point that Ms. Marin was very adamant that she instituted certain reforms at the department, she recommended certain upgrades and changes including putting together proposals for greater screening, for information technology upgrades. She monitored these things and I think that her testimony both previously and today was very accurate and truthful and she indicated quite adamantly where these was any suggestion that any process be shortcut she was never involved in that and she would have always as a professional and as a person of integrity insisted on all the processed being followed. I think that her testimony both on the last occasion and on this occasion was very forth coming truthful and very substantive and I think that some cases where she had to testify about things which existed she was a bit uncomfortable but honest and I think that is what the senators expect, I think that is the spirit of the investigation inquiry being conducted here."

So, is Mayor Darrell Bradley having a difficult time listening to the disclosures? As we told you, Marin chose her words very carefully, but her revelations were still critical of the UDP Government, which Bradley is a part of as the Mayor of Belize City. We asked him to share his opinion the political consequences of these revelations:

Daniel Ortiz
"Do you find yourself in a difficult place listening to the testimony and hearing some of the revelations of your client?"

Darrell Bradley - Attorney for Maria Marin
"Certainly not, with respect to myself I have absolutely no problem being in the senate inquiry as her attorney and sitting beside her. I think that this process is very beneficial; you would have interviewed me previously when I made certain statements in relation to the appropriateness of a senate inquiry. This is because I think this is important for every single Belizean not because I am UDP means I will tolerate irregularities or wrong doings with respect to things which concern every single Belizean. So it is part of every citizen's responsibility to cooperate with the lawful processes and I believe this inquiry is something that needs to take place so that further steps can be taken, recommendations can be put in place and implemented so that Belizeans can have a sense that there is integrity to the immigration and nationality service in Belize. So certainly it's not troubling for me to hear any instance of alleged irregularity. What would be troubling if those things are permitted to continue and this inquiry would not have the type of effect that I think people in the public would want to see."

Daniel Ortiz
"Do you see any political blowback from that given that it is for the entire country to see what the Audit report says and what your client has said and what the Auditor General has said in this senate inquiry?"

Darrell Bradley - Attorney for Maria Marin
"If there's any political blowback, I would not see anything wrong with that. I think that my response would be let the chips fall where they may. The only fallout that there could be would be as a result of individuals actions that should not have occurred and I think that this the form for there to be ventilation of what occurred, for there to be a questioning and responses given and for the senate to make a report that is thorough and detailed and I think being here with Ms. Marin and having her share the information very thorough and honestly I think that the senators benefited from some of her recommendations."

Daniel Ortiz
"Having a first-hand knowledge based on your attorney client privileges and listening to the testimonies, does it give you cause or second pause in the way you view your fellow UPD colleagues?"

Darrell Bradley - Attorney for Maria Marin
"I don't know essentially what you are asking. Again the senate has been given charge to conduct an inquiry. Whatever comes as a result of that inquiry is what comes as a result of that inquiry. What I would want as a Belizean is that there is a thorough investigation, there is a very substantive report which makes reference to specific acts or irregularity or illegality and that makes recommendations which are substantive and which calls for further actions which are specific and deliberate."

The Senate Inquiry continues next week Wednesday, and Former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan has been summoned to testify. Meighan presided as Director over the majority of the period which the Audit Department reviewed. Tune in to tomorrow's newscast, when we'll show you the choice questions that the Senate had for Marin about the Won Hong Kim passport scandal.

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