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Verdict for Selgado on March 8

GeneralVerdict for Selgado on March 8

Photo: Attorney Oscar Selgado

by Roy Davis (freelance writer)

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Feb. 13, 2024

The Crown and the defence made closing submissions today in the trial of attorney Oscar Selgado who was before Justice Nigel Pilgrim for a charge of abetment to murder.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, who is representing the Crown, outlined the evidence adduced by the Crown. She said that the Crown’s case is that Selgado should be found guilty of the crime for which he is charged because there is no doubt that on February 7, 2019, he solicited the commission of a crime by asking Giovanni Ramirez to kill Marilyn Barnes, an elderly woman who was to testify to the General Legal Council about an alleged sexual offence on a minor, implicating Selgado.

She said that both the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, and former police officer Wilfredo Ferrufino, testified that they listened to audio compact discs supplied by Ramirez in which they heard the voice of Selgado telling Ramirez to kill Barnes. Williams and Ferrufino both testified that they were familiar with Selgado’s voice.

She also pointed out that Ramirez had given a statement to the police in which he said that Selgado wanted to hire him to kill Barnes, and that Selgado showed him a photograph of Barnes and drove him to an apartment building on Southern Foreshore where Barnes resided.

Adolph Lucas, Sr., the attorney for Selgado, said in his submission that Selgado was deprived of a fair trial because Ramirez did not come to court to testify so that his statement could be tested by cross examination.

Lucas also pointed out that, because the audio recordings were missing, the court did not get the opportunity to test them for accuracy, and his client was thus deprived of a fair trial.

Another point that Lucas made was that Selgado was deprived of hearing the audio recording of the statement that Ramirez made to the police, and that the accuracy of the tape recording could not be assessed, and there were serious weaknesses in Ramirez’s statement.

Lucas also dealt with secondary evidence and voice identification evidence. He referred to several cases of law to bolster his claim.

After hearing the submissions of both counsels, Justice Pilgrim set March 8 as the date when he will give his verdict.

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