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Dec 23, 2014

Despite Arbitration Ruling in Favor of B.C.B., PM Says G.O.B. Will Continue Its Fight

Dean Barrow

Late last week, the government of Belize received terrible news from an arbitration panel of three in Costa Rica. That panel declared that G.O.B. must pay British Caribbean Bank forty-one point seven million U.S. dollars. In addition, attorneys for B.C.B. claim that the decision of the tribunal is final and binding, and government must pay up. But while G.O.B. is down, it’s certainly not out, and PM Barrow says that they are going to fight it, and just in case B.C.B. is looking for their check in the mail…it’s not going to happen.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Not at this time. Now the lawyers have actually been able to do a more in-depth analysis of the reasons for the panel’s findings, and they are even more convinced that the panel got it completely wrong, having to do again with this question of legality and the fact that while some subsidiary, the Belize Telemedia Investment or somebody, was the ostensible vehicle used to purchase the shares, in effect that was at all times the creature of BTL and for that reason alone…for reasons of what Phillip Osbourne was obliged to say under cross-examination, for reasons having to do with the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors that made clear what was afoot, that this was a loan for BTL to buy back its own shares so that the Ashcroft shareholders could in fact have an increase in stock. Our lawyers are absolutely positive that this has to be challenged. We don’t want to…they’re looking at the courses that are available…whether you wait until they try to enforce and you take the point there…but I think that as of now the better view is that you don’t wait because you might run the risk of these people arguing that the matter is res judicata…if there is some manner in which a challenge can be mounted now, that is exactly what will be done.”

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