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Sep 30, 2014

Belize Bank and G.O.B. in Court Over U.H.S. Debt

Denys Barrow

In the Supreme Court today, Justice Shona Griffiths heard arguments from The Belize Bank and the Government of Belize. The proceedings today concerned the enforcement of an arbitral award obtained by the Bank against the Government of Belize for thirty-three million Belize dollars plus interest. The Award originates from the Government’s failure to settle Universal Health Services’ debts that it had guaranteed in 2007. After closing arguments, attorney for the government, Denys Barrow spoke to the media.

 

Denys Barrow, Attorney for G.O.B.

“The status of the case is that there are things which will never come out which took place back in relation to the government at the time and the Belize Bank group that, like I said, they will never come out and this is why things cannot be readily understood. But there was a scheme.”

 

Reporter

“In the sense of what was being argued today, explain the arguments on the government’s behalf that this arbitrary award issued several years ago should not be endorsed now.”

 

Denys Barrow

“The argument of the government is that section one-fourteen of the constitution says that you cannot pay any money out of public funds without the constitution or some law authorizing it to be done. What was contemplated here was that the 2007 loan note was to be paid out of government funds. That never took place because people rioted and prevented that taking place. This was with the Venezuelan money, Taiwan money and so on. So Belize Bank took government to arbitration; the arbitration tribunal decided that the loan note should be paid by government. Government says that if we paid that loan note, we will be paying money out of the national treasury for which no law makes provision. Therefore, it will be illegal and to pay the award now will be just half a step away from paying an illegal transaction. Therefore the government objects to it and said that the Caribbean Court of Justice recently decided that if it will be contrary to public policy, because it will be an illegal payment to do something or to order the enforcement of something; then the Caribbean Court of Justice said we will not order enforcement. So we are asking that to be done.”

 

Attorneys for the Bank argued in court that the UHS debt had been settled by a Government Loan Note in 2007 and that it created an obligation on the Government to pay the Loan Note, which it failed to do.  Monies from Taiwan and Venezuela were used to settle Government’s obligations under the Loan Note. The Bank was forced by Central Bank to return the Venezuelan funds, making Government liable for the unpaid debt under the Loan Note. The Bank also argued that the matter was ventilated and settled at arbitration and the Supreme Court was being asked to enforce the arbitration award and not to hear an appeal on the matter. Justice Shona Griffith reserved her judgment for December sixteen, 2014. Belize Bank was represented by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay.

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1 Response for “Belize Bank and G.O.B. in Court Over U.H.S. Debt”

  1. Timber says:

    It’s so funny that you and your brother now know that it’s illegal to pay money out of public or government funds Denys; yet your government continues to use Social Security funds to do other stuff, members of your family go to DFC and pull files or make calls demanding loans for people whom DFC is saying that they aren’t qualified; even Castro and his son went in there for loans. DFC should be a private enterprise, independent of government and both UDP and PUP use it for their financial hustle. That’s why that organization will forever be in bad shape. The demise of National Bank is coming soon. WE all know that UHS was a political hustle, Lizarraga , his nephew who’s the doctor etc… The costs at that facility are outrageous!! What these doctors do , they give you inferior service at KHMH and then refer you to UHS or Medial Associates. All of a sudden, the service gets better and they know what’s wrong with you. That’s what Peter Allen should be looking into instead of being out there being a lazy ass. There are laws against that in the US and doctors lose their licenses and are reprimanded. You cannot self-refer.PUP must answer to UHS but Belize Bank has not one cents in that dollar; they want their money!

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