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Jul 28, 2016

G.O.B. and Ashcroft Group Back in Court Arguing B.T.L. Settlement

Attorneys for the Government of Belize and Dean Boyce, B.T.L. Employees Trust and Dunkeld International appeared before the Caribbean Court of Justice via teleconference this morning, for a case management hearing.  Both parties are once again tangled in litigation, this time over the recently published compensation award handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which details payment for government’s acquisition of B.T.L. in 2009.  As we reported last Friday, there is discrepancy regarding the currency split used by G.O.B. in meeting the first half of payment of the award on July eighth.  As it stands, there is a forty-sixty ratio between the unrestricted sum and the restricted amount that is set aside for the Belizean people.  A dispute has subsequently arisen over the quantum that must be paid in U.S. currency versus the total that must be covered in Belize dollars.  Three separate appeals, consolidated as one, were heard before the CCJ earlier today.  Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, appearing on behalf of the Ashcroft Group, told News Five following the proceedings that the companies that are in line for payment have turned to the appellate jurisdiction for an interpretation of the settlement agreement.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Ashcroft Group

“What has happened is that the government agreed under the settlement agreement that was signed last year September that it would pay fifty percent of the arbitral award within ten days of the award being published.  That was the thirteenth of July.  That was to be paid in U.S. dollars and we said there is absolutely no doubt about that in the agreement.  The government did not pay it in U.S. dollars, they paid a portion of it in Belize dollars and they paid a portion of it in U.S. dollars.  The companies who are entitled to the payment have come to the Caribbean Court of Justice to say we’re asking you to construe the agreement and if you agree with us, to make an order that the government pays the balance in U.S. dollars and the Belize dollars portion would then be paid back to government because that was not a part of the agreement.  This morning, the Caribbean Court of Justice commenced the hearing and indicated that they want full submissions, they want further evidence and they’re going to hear it on the nineteenth of August.”

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