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Feb 1, 2018

Why P.M. Says Let the Sunshine In

Dean Barrow

On Monday, February fifth, the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case of Sunshine Holdings against the B.T.L. Employees’ Trust in a partial continuation of the original Telemedia saga which had been brought in the main to its conclusion last November. Of the over half a billion dollars repaid in compensation for the taking of Telemedia, about thirty-one million Belize dollars was due to the Trust. But Sunshine Holdings, unsuccessfully in October, but more successful a few weeks ago, intervened to ask that the Trust compensation, or alternatively the ten million dollars investment loan to the government from the Social Security Board, be repaid. The Trust went to the C.C.J., claiming that Sunshine and, by extension, the government were seeking a do-over of the case and trying to repay themselves, but the five-judge panel did not agree. Prime Minister Dean Barrow told us he expects that Sunshine will be let in.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Sunshine Holdings in fact is saying that the monies collected by the Trust with respect to the compensation settlement are monies that should have gone to Sunshine – even if thereafter Sunshine would have been obliged to pay out the bulk of it to the Trust. That’s a large part of the issue; perhaps even more important, Sunshine is saying that in the alternative, even if the compensation was not altogether payable to Sunshine, certainly the investment loans that Sunshine made to purchase those shares, for which the Employees’ Trust has received the compensation; those investment loans must be satisfied out of the compensation that the Employees Trust has received. The investment loans are of course owed to Government and to S.S.B. So I think that it is entirely appropriate and in fact mandatory that Sunshine should further pursue this issue.”

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