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Belize junior minister charged with assault

Thursday, February 07, 2013 | 9:31 AM    

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BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) – Police Wednesday charged junior minister Mark King with aggravated assault, use of threatening words and disorderly conduct, following a pre-dawn brawl at a casino in northern Belize over the weekend.

King, 38, the junior minister of Human Development and Social Transformation, has been suspended without pay by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He has also publicly apologised for his behaviour.

The first-time legislator, who will return to court on April 16, was one of two men who were thrown out of the casino after an altercation involving a member of his entourage.

Police said 22-year-old Diego Witz, Jr who was a member of King’s group got into a physical confrontation with security personnel for the casino as they were escorting him off the premises.  A police constable intervened and Witz reportedly punched the law enforcement officer.

The policeman, Nelson Ramos, then arrested Witz but as the officers were about to transport him to the police station,  about five miles away, King intervened and tried to get the officers to release Witz. 

Witz has been arraigned on a charge of assaulting a police officer released on BZ$4,000 (One Belize3 Dollar = US$0.49 cents) bail and ordered to return to court on April 16.

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