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Mar 24, 2015

Stake Bank/FSTV and G.O.B. in Court

Andrew Marshalleck

Michael Feinstein, developer of the Stake Bank/Drowned Cayes cruise port project, is suing the Government of Belize and owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village over agreements signed in the nascent stages of FSTV in 2004. Feinstein claims that the “head tax” presently collected by government is not suitably accounted for in the Consolidated Revenue Fund and that the 2004 agreements are void. Should Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel find in his favor, then both Feinstein and FSTV are seeking damages from government. The matter was originally slated to be heard this week, beginning today, but the two sides are behind in preparation and the trial date was shifted to the eleventh and twelfth of June. We spoke with attorneys for both parties: Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck for Feinstein and Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams for FSTV.

 

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney for Michael Feinstein

“What has happened is that his original claim is now complicated by an auxiliary claim that has been joined in so that now both sets of claims have to be disposed of. And that has necessitated further instructions and so that’s what the delay is about. So the case is getting bigger.”

 

Reporter

“Can you tell us about the new addition to the case?”

 

Andrew Marshalleck

“It is a conditional claim, an auxiliary claim, whereby the Fort Street Tourism Village is saying if it is that Mister Feinstein’s claim is correct and the government lacks the authority to execute an agreement in those terms with them, then government is in breach of a warranty that they gave in the contract with them that they were authorize to do it and is liable to them for damages.”

 

Rodwell Williams

Rodwell Williams, Attorney for FSTV

“In any event, there is what is called an ancillary claim brought by FSTC to say look guys, if it turns out that it is a tax, and therefore not in compliance with the requirements prescribed by law, then both Feinstein, the claimant who sold to FSTV and gave it certain warranties and reps—remember they were the one under the asset purchase agreement, they were the ones who operated the Belize Tourism Village historically, but they sold out to FSTV—then you guys are in breach of your reps and warranties. G.O.B., who gave FSTV the 2004, 2007 agreements, you guys are in breach of your warranties. You said you were competent to do what you did and now if the court says you weren’t competent, then the ancillary claim is directed to recover damages.”

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