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Jun 9, 2016

G.O.B. Loses to Belize Bank in UHS Arbritration, $36 Million Awarded

In the most recent chain of losses for the Government of Belize, a federal judge in the District of Columbia confirmed on Wednesday the enforcement of the arbitration award against G.O.B. in the bank’s UHS related claim. The award is the equivalent of thirty-six point nine million Belize dollars plus interest accruing from December 2012 to date. The dispute stems from an agreement signed by former prime minister Said Musa in 2004, guaranteeing payment of debt owed to the bank by Universal Health Services.  According to a lawsuit filed by the Belize Bank, in 2007, the Government of Belize entered into a thirty-three million Belize dollar settlement agreement which is worth approximately seventeen million dollars today, after it became evident that UHS would default on the obligation.  When G.O.B. failed to meet the payments, the bank proceeded with arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration.  Those proceedings, however, were canceled in January 2008 when both parties reached another agreement.  When that did not work, the Belize Bank returned to the LCIA, this time following a suit filed by the Barrow Administration in the Supreme Court in which they saw to nullify original loan settlement.  The decision of U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is based in part on recent rulings by the D.C. Circuit Court in cases also aimed at confirming international arbitration awards against Belize.

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