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Hon. Mark King Pending Charges in Corozal Free Zone Incident

Belmopan – February 5, 2013. – Cabinet was briefed on an incident that occurred early Tuesday morning, February 5, 2013 at the Princess Hotel & Casino in the Corozal Free Zone, and it was reported that the Hon. Mark King was involved in behavior not consistent with his obligations as a Minister of State.

Cabinet has been informed that the police, in consequence of their preliminary review of the facts, will be laying charges of disorderly conduct and threatening words on Hon. Mark King. Those charges will be dealt with in the court.

However, the Prime Minister at this point is satisfied that Honorable King’s involvement in the incident constituted, at the very least, unbecoming conduct. Accordingly, the Prime Minister, after speaking with Hon. Mark King has decided on an immediate three-month suspension without pay from his duties as a Minister of State. The Prime Minister and Cabinet also expect that Honorable King will issue a statement of apology to his constituency, colleagues, and the country.

Official Police Report:
Assaulting a Police Officer
On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at about 2:30 a.m. a uniformed police was on duty at the Princess Casino located at Santa Elena Northern Border. The officer was standing outside of the casino when he saw that the security guard from the casino was escorting a male person out of the casino.

Thereafter the security guards escorted another male person out of the casino as the male person was behaving disorderly. The Police Officer learnt the first male person’s name to be Diego Witz Jr., 22-year-old, Belizean businessman of Punta Gorda Town, who came back to where the second male person was being escorted out and attempted to hit one of the security guards.

The police then intervened and Diego Witz reportedly pushed him and punched him in the face. A struggle ensued where Diego Witz Jr. was subdued. He was cautioned of the offence committed of assaulting a police officer. Diego Witz Jr. was escorted to the police booth at the border and was later escorted to the Corozal Police Station pending charges.

Statement from Hon. Mark King
Belmopan. February 5, 2013. – My fellow Belizeans, by now you would have learnt through the media that I was involved in an incident while socializing at the Princess Hotel & Casino in Corozal, which resulted in a breach of the peace and the imposition of charges against me by the Police.

While I make no admission of wrong-doing and will take all necessary steps to be properly represented at the trial of those charges, I want you all to know that I am very sorry and deeply regret that this incident occurred.

I apologize to you, the Belizean people, and members of my constituency and to all my Cabinet colleagues for this unfortunate incident.

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