Amidst the uproar of the passport scandal and allegations of an illegal visa scheme – both of which have rocked Belmopan, a well-known resident of Orange Walk Town is on trial at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on charges of illegal possession of six passports, and tampering with an official document, including the passport of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd.
Matthew Williams, 56, of Smithsonian Street, Orange Walk, was taken to court on Friday, October 25, but the case has been adjourned until December 9.
In court, Matura-Shepherd testified as a witness for the prosecution, and identified her passport that was stolen in September 2006, from her vehicle in Belize City.
She said that the thieves also stole her purse and other items. She reported the matter to police, but did not hear anything more about the theft until last year, 2012, when a man was arrested with six illegal passports, including hers, after they raided his house in Orange Walk.
She was then called to verify her passport. Her photo on her passport had been replaced by the photo of another woman, but all the personal information in the document was Matura’s.
The Gang Suppression Unit said that on July, 9, 2011, they were conducting an anti-drug operation in Orange Walk Town and went to William’s home, where they discovered the passports, which were for 4 Belizeans, a Mexican and a Panamanian. Williams was quickly arrested and charged with illegal possession of passports.
The case against him had been adjourned several times this year because Williams’ attorney was never present, but today the case was called and it proceeded without his attorney, which Williams never named.
Williams, in his defense, acted as his own attorney.