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Oct 12, 2017

C.C.J. Turns Down Sunshine Intervention in B.T.L. Case

In advance of hearings next week, the Caribbean Court of Justice today rejected an application by Sunshine Holdings Limited to intervene in the final appeal between the Government of Belize, Dunkeld International Investment Limited and the Belize Telemedia Limited Employees Trust.  Sunshine was previously owned by the Trust and nationalized by the government as part of its 2009 and 2011 acquisitions of Telemedia properties.  It asked to join in the hearings, which it never had before, to argue that instead of compensating the B.T.L. Employees Trust, Government should instead pay Sunshine the compensation due to the Trust. The Government has applied to the C.C.J. challenging the U.S. dollar portion of compensation claimed by Dunkeld as being too high. It has demanded to audit the accounts of Dunkeld and the Trust, which in turn claim there is no provision for this in the Settlement Agreement, and that government is simply trying to delay the payment further. Net Vasquez, chairman of the B.T.L. Board of Directors as well as a member of Sunshine’s, proposes to divert the monies to Government and the Social Security Board, which it owes; in other words, a government-owned company wants the government to compensate it so that it can return the same money back to the government – monies which the Trust says are for the benefit of the company’s employees. The C.C.J. agreed and refused Sunshine’s application, ensuring that once the compensation is paid over by the government and expenses deducted, the balance will be paid into the B.T.L. Employees Trust for the benefit of the employees of B.T.L. Sunshine was represented by Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams and the Employees Trust by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay. The full hearing is due in Port-of-Spain on Tuesday, October seventeenth.

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