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COLA’s private lawsuit against Hon. Elvin Penner begins Thursday 

HighlightsCOLA’s private lawsuit against Hon. Elvin Penner begins Thursday 

Earlier this month, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled in favor of the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, when he issued a writ of mandamus to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, for him to proceed with and conclude the criminal investigation of Hon. Elvin Penner for his role in the issuance of a Belize passport and nationality document to South Korean criminal Kim Won-Hong.

The Chief Justice’s mandamus order was issued with the full understanding that the statute of limitation was about to run out for two of the offences for which Penner could be charged under the

But the grassroots activist organization, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), was thinking ahead and had acted upon a bit of gratuitous advice that Prime Minister Barrow had suggested, when he said the Opposition could bring a private lawsuit against Penner.

COLA filed its private lawsuit a few days before the statute of limitations under the Summary Jurisdiction Procedures Act had run out.

On Thursday, Penner is scheduled to answer the private lawsuit in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court.

But so far, what the police have turned over to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, is still not adequate for her to advise the police on what charges to bring against Penner.

DPP Vidal has confirmed that she has given the police specific instructions that they should carry out to complete their investigation, and she will act once the investigation is completed and the police hand over to her the necessary files.

The outcome of the police investigation would also impact COLA’s private lawsuit, since the DPP is expected to be in court Thursday in her prosecutorial capacity.

When they had filed the lawsuit, COLA had put out a request for legal assistance, and that plea was answered by attorney Kareem Musa, who confirmed to Amandala that he is the private attorney for COLA and will be holding a watchful brief on Thursday.

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