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Apr 6, 2018

C.C.J. Will Be Allowed to Make U.H.S. Decision, Says A.G.

The highly anticipated decision on the Belize Bank Limited versus Government of Belize in the matter of the thirty-six million Belize dollar debt, plus interest, originally granted to Universal Health Services and guaranteed by Government remains outstanding. Before the Easter break, the Caribbean Court of Justice set the post-judgment interest rate at six percent rather than seventeen percent compounded. But what happens when the rest of the judgment comes down and Parliament is faced with deciding whether to pay or risk the country being held in contempt? Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte told us that the time to make those decisions will come, but first the Court must be allowed to deliberate on theirs.

 

On the Phone: Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Now like we have always held, whether that is paid or unpaid is a position and a determination for Parliament. The judgment is there; the judgment is a valid judgment according to the court against the Government; da no like the judgment has disappeared. But parliament, in my view, has to vote for that money. The other side made an application trying to force the Government to pay and that is the decision that is outstanding. We have not gotten any indication that they have decided on that yet. And I think that maybe, maybe, what Parliament is doing is trying to give the Court its respect by allowing them to adjudicate before there is a vote.”

 

Aaron Humes

“But once there is a vote, then you and the Prime Minister and the rest of the House and the Senate have some tough decisions to make?”

 

On the Phone: Michael Peyrefitte

“It depends on the vote. If the Parliament votes no, then we have tough decisions to make indeed; if the Parliament votes yes, then we will pay it. Because we don’t know how Parliament will vote.”

 

No date has been set for a judgment.

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