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Jun 8, 2017

Government Plans C.C.J. Fight; Hopes for ‘Magic’

Joseph Waight

Without a doubt the matter will be going to the CCJ, which FinSec Joseph Waight says is provided for under the settlement agreement signed in Miami, Florida in 2015 between Lord Michael Ashcroft and Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Ninety-five million U.S. dollar is about one-third of Belize’s current foreign reserves, but there is no justification, according to Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, who says that the former owners of B.T.L. have withheld a complete breakdown of the figures as they anticipated a court challenge.  But even with such a breakdown in hand, Waight says the country cannot afford the figure, and the Government would need magic to try to squeeze out what it expected from the final amount due for the support projects it touted as a result of the settlement.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“We can’t pay it. And even if they urge us to pay it, we can’t pay it. But let’s not jump the gun and see how the process runs.”

 

Reporter

“You think it is outrageous figure?”

 

Joseph Waight

“Completely. Completely. We haven’t seen the details.”

 

Reporter

“Have they given a breakdown?”

 

Joseph Waight

“We asked for it…”

 

Reporter

“…no breakdown has been given?”

 

Joseph Waight

“…just a figure and that is strategy in their part, I believe. Of course, any court would want to see the breakdown so we are asking for a breakdown.”

 

Reporter

“Is there a second payment due in the B.T.L. payment?”

 

Joseph Waight

“The compensation…this is it.”

 

Reporter

“But you all are in a regrettable position because you all already paid fifty percent. You have to pay a certain amount up front which was ten or fifteen percent, then you had to pay fifty percent on the remaining amount which leaves you in the forties. But you have to now get sixty percent out of the forty percent.”

 

Joseph Waight

“If anybody can do that, they are magicians noh? The CCJ did not see it our way, but we have to respect the ruling of the highest court in our law. We argued strongly against it.”

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