BELIZE CITY–On August 8, 2014, attorney Anthony Sylvestre had made a no-case-to-answer submission before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on behalf of his client, Darius Martinez, a police officer who was charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer.
Today, the Chief Magistrate delivered her ruling on Sylvestre’s no-case submission, saying that the prosecutor, Senior Crown Counsel Linbert Willis, had made out a prima facie case against Martinez and consequently, Martinez has a case to answer.
On August 8, Willis had called two witnesses to testify for the prosecution in the case against Martinez — Sergeant Francisco Ack, the officer who arrested Martinez when he located him at a football game in Belmopan, and Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officer Stacy Smith.
In her testimony, Smith told the court that she had gotten a call from Martinez, who asked her if she wanted to make some money.
When Martinez called Smith a second time, Smith recorded the conversation on her cellphone. That recording was then downloaded to a computer and put on a compact disk. The entire conversation was then played in court on a laptop computer.
The allegation against Martinez dates back to May 2011, after the GSU had conducted a raid on the Orange Walk property of antivirus software pioneer, John McAfee.
During the conversation between Smith and Martinez, Martinez mentioned repeatedly that he was not asking her to do anything illegal, Smith said. He told her he wanted her to keep him informed about the GSU’s actions as it related to John McAfee.
On Tuesday, September 23, Martinez will return to court to present his defense against the charge of attempting to corrupt a public official.