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Jul 25, 2017

Was P.M. Barrow hoodwinked in Miami?

Does the Prime Minister claim to be hoodwinked by Lord Michael Ashcroft following their 2015 conference in Miami, Florida, where the details of what became the Settlement Agreement were hammered out? He says that while Government always kept a watchful eye out, he and Ashcroft mutually understood that a minimum amount of liabilities would be claimed from the portion of funds attributed to the 2007 Accommodation Agreement so that Belizeans would benefit from the remainder in charitable projects. He now accuses the British businessman, despite the latter’s insistence that he has no further ties to Telemedia itself, of trying to get one over on the Government and the Belizean people – and that is why the Government will challenge it in court.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It’s very clear that the agreement, which I signed, did allow for the so-called Dunkeld liabilities to be extracted before the balance would then go to the people of Belize by way of the projects to be funded. The big quarrel is not with the principle that, in fact, the Alliance is due some kind of recompense for their expenses; the quarrel is with the quantum that they are claiming. It is absolutely true then, if you make the point that the figures they have produced strike me as being utterly unreal, and in fact they’re getting there is completely contrary to the spirit of the agreement. When Ashcroft and I spoke, while a figure was not agreed, it was clear between us that these liabilities would not be anywhere near the figure that has now been produced. And I have said to you before and I will say again, I think that this is his way of trying to get back at us for the fact that he’s not been able to collect yet on the judgments that he had upheld in the U.S. courts. In any event, whatever his motivation is, it is indeed extremely unfair; I don’t think that the quantum that he advances is at all supportable, and I am optimistic and truly believe that in the end justice will prevail, and that there will be a sizable portion of the award coming back to the people of this country by way of the projects.”

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