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Sep 29, 2016

Can Accommodation Agreement Plans Hold Up After Judgment?

Denys Barrow

The discovery of a shift in the ratio of the award may imperil the Government’s stated intent to use a portion of the award for capital projects in Belize with the approval of Dunkeld. But both sides believe the compromise that was originally worked out can still be adhered to.

 

Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government

“The real effect is that the people of Belize have lost out on a number of millions of dollars which the Government negotiated with Lord Ashcroft’s companies, should have gone for the benefit of the people of Belize – that is the short of it; the other, more immediate consideration is the crunch it puts the country in as it regards the immediate availability of foreign exchange.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Dunkeld/B.T.L. Employees’ Trust

“The issue there is unresolved, because you will recall that the Dunkeld liabilities have to be brought to account. My clients have indicated to me that they have not yet finalized that amount. That amount, which is going to be in U.S. dollars, has to be deducted from the balance that is to be paid by the Government. It is after that deduction has taken place that the balance is to go to the Heyward Charitable Trust. That figure has not been settled at this time, but that amount to go to the Trust is in Belize dollars.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, can you clarify what are these liabilities?”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Generally speaking, it is all the costs that have been incurred by the Trust and Dunkeld in fighting all these cases. Remember, this is property that was taken away. These people have had to fight for years to reach to this point, and therefore they are saying, the costs that I incurred in doing that, have to be deducted from the amount that you are keeping. This is a compromise; it’s a compromise let’s remember that.”

 

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The amount remaining to – the reduced amount in Belize dollars which would now be applied to the Trust is significantly less; I don’t have the numbers, but we are talking about several million dollars less. The arrangement in the Settlement Agreement was that the Government would propose to the Trust certain projects and the Trust would not unreasonably withhold its agreement. In other words, the Government would make proposals; the Trust would decide yes or no; the Trust itself would not be able to put in its own proposals; okay. So basically the Government would come with social projects for consideration by the Trust, and the Trust would not unreasonably withhold its approval.”

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