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Feb 7, 2017

Arbitration War Continues; U.S. Court Puts Own Restrictions on Government

We can confirm tonight that Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, formerly BCB Holdings, appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. on Monday. The companies were seeking motions for a restraining order against the Government of Belize; a permanent anti-suit injunction; and permission to enable attachment of assets of the Government wherever they may be located in the U.S. It is the last order that is of particular interest to Belize and it is on that last point that BCB/CIHL succeeded.  District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted the permission for BCB/CIHL to proceed according to the law of any state where enforcement may be sought.  This is despite the injunction that Government got in the Supreme Court on Friday which prevents BCB/CIHL from taking any step to enforce the award pending trial of Government’s claim.  Judge Kollar-Kotelly noted that the Government conceded that she had jurisdiction to make the order even though the Government had stripped BCB/CIHL of all its procedural and substantive rights by the new legislation in Belize and the injunction obtained by the Government last Friday afternoon.  We are informed that papers have now been filed by CIHL seeking to have the injunction issued by Justice Arana discharged. This application will be heard by the Chief Justice on a date in the near future. BCB/CIHL are also seeking to dismiss the Government’s case completely.  G.O.B. wants a permanent injunction binding BCB/CIHL and the Belize Bank on the basis that the prior judgment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in July of 2013 against enforcement is binding. And so it seems that the battle rages on with no end in sight.

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