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Jun 20, 2018

G.O.B. says BISL was in Contravention of the Constitution

Nigel Hawke

Notwithstanding the case put forward by BISL, government maintains that the company was in contravention of Section 114 of the constitution which speaks to public monies being deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.  On adjournment, Solicitor General Nigel Hawke explained G.O.B.’s position.

 

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General

“Our position fundamentally is that there’s not been, I think they have accepted somewhat that there has not been compliance with Section 114 and Section 4-2 of the Finance and Audit Reform Act because the constitution requires certain issues in relation to public monies being deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.  We think the agreement does not offend those provisions.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, so in this particular instance where you were trying to make the point that this agreement should have gone to parliament, what was the point that you were trying to make there?”

 

Nigel Hawke

“The point we were trying to make there is, embodied in the agreement there is some aspect of the collection of taxes and we are saying that once it has to do with the collection of taxes it should have some parliamentary sanction.  Remember, this is just an agreement between the government and the other party.”

 

Reporter

“Just a while ago, Mr. Courtenay told us that the government could have taken the option to amend the contract so that proper distribution of public monies could have gone to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but instead the government used its might and force to just take the company.  Would you hazard a guess that the reason the government did that was that this is an Ashcroft outfit and they were trying to distance itself from that particular entity?”

 

Nigel Hawke

“I will answer it in two ways, I wouldn’t hazard a guess.  I won’t be able to answer, but what I will say is that the fact remains that it was an agreement that on the face of it is in violation of Section 114 of the constitution whether I entered into it or Mr. John entered into it, it doesn’t change the fact that all parties ought to comply with the provisions of the Belize constitution.”

 

A decision by the Court of Appeal has been reserved for a later date.

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