Belize Mystery: The Wealthy Socialite & The Dead Cop
Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams said: “Personally, I knew Mr. Jemmott very well. We have clashed at times, but at the end of the day we both have the best interests of this department at heart. Mr. Jemmott was one of those people who really and really challenged me. And that was his style – ambitious, assertive, but also a dedicated family man.
Williams reportedly insisted that Hartin wouldn’t get any special favors. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted. But she could also be fined £ 7,000, similar to the punishment for impaired drivers. The dissatisfaction with the way the police conducted the investigation has exploded on social networks. Locals noted Hartin’s wealth and connections, and that she is white and her alleged victim was black.
The question now is whether justice can be done dispassionately, given Lord Ashcroft’s larger-than-life status in the former British colony, which gained independence in 1981, much to the chagrin of neighboring Guatemala. Ashcroft is a national of the United Kingdom and Belize. He made no comment. Instead, this week he promoted on Twitter his latest book, Red Knight, an unauthorized biography of Labor leader Keir Starmer.
Ashcroft is the owner of a bank in Belize. He has played a key role in transforming the country into an offshore financial center – or what critics say is a tax haven. As in the UK, Ashcroft got involved in the politics of Belize, which is home to 440,000 people, many of whom are poor. Ashcroft was previously the country’s ambassador to the UN. He has a colonial style house in Belize City.
He is closely linked to the country’s politicians. He sometimes bumped into them and funded them as well. In 2009 then Prime Minister Dean Barrow said Ashcroft’s prolific business interests had “subdued an entire nation,” following a dispute over the nationalization of Belize telecommunications company, which Ashcroft owned. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing.
Barrow said: “Lord Michael ashcroft is an extremely powerful man. His net worth may well equal Belize’s entire GDP. There is no one to cross. But it is our home, it is our country, here we are the masters. And with all the weight of this sovereignty, we must now put an end to this disrespect, to this taking of luck, to new-age slavery.
More recently, Ashcroft funded the cash-strapped Belize Police Department. Last summer he donated equipment. In February, he cut the ribbon for a new gymnasium at Central Station, along with Home Secretary Kareem Musa and Williams the commissioner. the Daily Mail reported. Ashcroft’s largesse extends to the prison where his son’s partner is being held. His detox wing is named after him.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Hartin is the Lifestyle and Experience Director at Alaia Belize Hotel Group, a company run by Andrew Ashcroft. Andrew, 43, has lived in Belize for two decades. He and Hartin are not married, a spokesperson said, declining to comment further. Hartin could face a second charge after a small amount of drugs were found at the scene, it was learned.
Ahead of a criminal trial and other headlines, friends of the dead wondered how an evening under the stars could have ended in horror and bloodshed. “They put a dagger in our hearts”, Marie, Jemmott’s sister told local media this week. “We will pray for her as we pray for her soul. “