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Jul 28, 2015

Petrocaribe Case Back in Court; Neither Side Ready

Jarrard Ysaguirre

Petrocaribe – it is the political buzzword of 2015, and depending on who you ask, it is either the best thing to ever happen to Belize or perhaps the worst. One man who thinks the latter, at least of the way the Government has handled the program since its inception, is P.U.P. Deputy Leader, Julius Espat, who has sued Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dean Barrow, in the Supreme Court. Over vociferous objections, the Prime Minister pushed through the national assembly first a motion authorizing loans from ALBA Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited. The loan motion had to be strengthened with the now Petrocaribe Loans Act of 2015, which gave retroactive and future approval for such loans.  Today the lawsuit filed by Espat against PM Barrow was to go to trial, but neither side was ready and the Court’s calendar is so full that Justice Courtney Abel could only agree to a date in December – the first and second, respectively. What’s taking so long, especially on a matter of such public interest? That’s what we asked the attorneys for both sides, starting with Jarrard Ysaguirre, who held brief for Senior Counsel Denys Barrow on behalf of the Prime Minister and Attorney General.

 

Jarrard Ysaguirre, Attorney for Dean Barrow

“The court had made certain orders for the claimant to file separate…amend their submissions and that has not been complied with. And so the claimant came to asking the court for the opportunity, for the matter to be adjourned and given the opportunity to comply with the court orders and the court proceeded to grant that adjournment and give new dates.”

 

Reporter

“Do you think that it is necessary for us to be spending so much time and the court…you need to make judicious time of the court’s usage?”

 

Jarrard Ysaguirre

“Yes, we do need to make judicious time of the court usage, but simply put, I think that’s a matter that is better that you should ask the claimant.”

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