What Did Ambassador Joel Nagel Do in Austria?
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, confirmed last Thursday at the House debate that the Ambassador of Belize to Austria, Joel Nagel, was told to leave his post by the Government of Austria following unnamed allegations. Elrington, however, did not disclose why the host country took that most embarrassing decision. In the Senate on Monday, during the Budget Debate, lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay, who shadows the Ministry for the P.U.P., put on record that Minister Elrington in particular knows more than he is telling about Ambassador Nagel. Courtenay referred to claim 235 of 2014. That case was between Tommy Lynn Haugen and Caye International Bank Limited as first defendant and Nagel, in his own right as second defendant and as chair of the Board of the Bank. Haugen sued Nagel and the Bank, charging that they had manipulated him into buying shares in the company, which did not have a Class A banking license as stipulated between 2003 and 2012. Nagel unsuccessfully applied to Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel to have his name taken off the case and later lost at trial stage after Justice Abel found what he called, “material misrepresentations done for a fraudulent purpose” and that this fraud was subtle, devious and perpetrated deceptively. The Justice did not mince words in referring to Nagel saying that he was satisfied that such “misrepresentations were indeed proved, to the high degree of cogency that is required in a case involving an allegation of fraud, such as in the present case, being especially a case involving fraud, indeed a sophisticated fraud by an attorney against his client, which makes such a fraud all the more heinous and disturbing.” Courtenay called on Elrington to finally reveal why it is that Nagel was unceremoniously told to leave Austria.
Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator
“I want to put on record in this Senate; I don’t understand why the Minister of Foreign Affairs became so emotional and passionate when they called the name of Ambassador Joel Nagel. The truth of the matter is that he was removed as ambassador of Belize from Austria. The government of Austria said: leave town and leave town quickly. And what the Minister of Foreign Affairs should say, because we know, right from over here – budget? I am talking about budget; I’m talking about mismanagement of Foreign Affairs. We know, right from next door at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the Austrians wrote and said leave and then they sent back a diplomatic note and said: tell me why? You know weh the Austrians do? They sent a diplomatic note and said: leave by that date! Run! But, and I want the Foreign Minister to deny this, he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs from Austria; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs told him why, and it is time for him to tell the Belizean people why this country suffered the embarrassment of having one of its Ambassadors told to leave the post by a foreign country.”
Ambassador Nagel, who owns property and a business in Ambergris Caye and is originally from the Pittsburgh area, was also appointed as Permanent Representative of Belize with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; it is not known whether he continues in this post.