BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 26, 2020– Businessman Dion Zabaneh, who was charged for multiple offenses that he allegedly committed against the Department of the Environment (DOE), was freed of all charges today when Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford upheld a submission from his attorney, Emil Arguelles, that he had no case for which to answer.
Zabaneh was charged with aggravated assault on a DOE officer in the execution of his duty, 4 counts of failure to comply with an oral direction given by a designated officer, and proceeding with an undertaking, project, program or activity without signing an environmental compliance plan and receiving environmental clearance.
“The Government had no case on us and the environmental officer had no right to be on the property and they were trying to discredit me and my mother”, said Zabaneh after he came out of court.
Zabaneh also stated that the case started from 2006, when a minister of the former government wanted the land. The land in question was lot # 4607 located in Buttonwood Bay which Zabaneh and his mother had begun to fill after carrying out dredging from the sea.
“They had hidden agendas and because of that, we had gone through a lot of pain and suffering”, he said.
Arguelles said that, from the beginning, the developer did not need environmental clearance and the truth about the matter was that somebody wanted the land.
Zabaneh’s mother, Primrose Gabourel, was also charged with some of the offences he was charged with, but the charges against her were withdrawn.
The Department of the Environment was represented at the court proceedings by Javon Hulse.
Feature photo: Dion Zabaneh