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Oct 20, 2015

Attorney Says Feinstein Prepared to Work with All Parties

Andrew Marshalleck

Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, the attorney for Feinstein, outlined the two reliefs won by his client out of the five he sued for. Most important, he says, is that there is no need for any indemnity as asked for by the Government to insure against potential challenge by FSTV for breach of contract. Marshalleck told News Five that because his client just wants to settle the terms of the agreement, he is prepared to work with all sides.

 

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney for Michael Feinstein

“The first one is a declaration of the provisions of subparagraphs two (E), two (F), and five seven of the amended agreement between the Government of Belize, the Belize Tourism Board and the Fort Street Tourism Village, dated fourteenth September 2004, are unlawful and unenforceable as ultra vires the power of the Executive. Second one is a declaration that the provisions of paragraph four of the further amended agreement between the Government of Belize, the Belize Tourism Board and the Fort Street Tourism Village dated fourteenth September 2004, ultra vires the powers of the Executive and inconsistent with the discharge of public responsibilities in so far as the imposition, collection and distribution of head tax is concerned.”

 

Reporter

“So sir, does this allow for your clients interests, which is to get his project ongoing? Does this help in any way?”

 

Andrew Marshalleck

“Where we were held up was in terms of settling the investment agreement with the government. The government was insisting that my client indemnify them against possible suit for breaches of these sections. So these sections have now been found to be unenforceable so that from all perspective there is no longer any need for any indemnity, which then clears the last hurdle for the investment agreement to proceed. Our objective has always been to settle the terms of the investment agreement. Most of those terms have been settled. As I said, the sticking point was concern over possible liability for breach of these sections. What these sections essentially did…one of them, was to say that this head tax would be payable and shared with FSTV even in respect of passengers visiting Stake Bank; that’s now been found to be unenforceable. The agreement itself provided for the collection and distribution of tax and one of the fundamental basis for finding it unlawful is that there is no authority in the Executive or in the B.T.B. to agree to impose any tax. Taxes must be imposed, collected and distributed with an act of the Legislature, not of the Executive, which is now in place. But it means that the FSTV continues to collect taxes now—not under or by virtue of the agreement that was signed in 2004, but under or by virtue of the authority conferred by the statute. The agreement has been found to be unlawful.”

 

According to Marshalleck, there remain some issues to be worked out, but the main sticking points addressed by this case are now dealt with for the most part, to the favor of his client.

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