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Nov 30, 2010

Caribbean Court of Justice considers case of two former ministers

The Caribbean Court of Justice has reserved ruling in a case that could determine whether the government can take action against two ministers for financial losses suffered by the state. In the first appeal from Belize, submissions were made by attorneys Lois Young on behalf of the government and Elson Kaseke and Magali Marin-Young on behalf of Florencio Marin Senior and Jose Coye. In Trinidad today, Coye and Marin asked the CCJ to determine whether the attorney general is competent to institute an action against former minister claiming misfeasance or abuse of power in public office. The government filed the lawsuit against Marin and Coye seeking to recover close to nine hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars it claims it lost in the sale of lands in the Caribbean Shores area. Kaseke and Marin-Young argued that in the tort of misfeasance, it is an individual who can sue for damages, but not the state. He also complained to the court that the application which was filed by Young on behalf of Solicitor General Oscar Ramjeet was submitted to him only prior to their trip to Trinidad and that it did not offer sufficient time to prepare a formal response.

Elson Kaseke, Attorney for Jose Coye

elson kaseke

“Thank you your honor.  We’ll leave the ultimate determination of the application to the court but we only have two issues which we want to raise for the court to consider in making its decision.  First is the issue that the application was received late by the appellants.  On the 24th, November 2010 and by that time the counsel including myself were in the process of preparing to come to Trinidad & Tobago and we did not have sufficient time to take instructions from the appellants and to respond to the application appropriately.  I was only able to read the application, digest it and take a position after calling my client on Saturday and Sunday, yesterday.  I was instructed to oppose the application but I advised my clients that I will leave it to the court.  In terms of rule five point three of the appellate jurisdiction rules time can be abridged where the party in default of complying with the order of the court shows that the default was caused by unforeseeable circumstances.  The affidavit of Mr. Oscar Ranjeev we submit does not meet the requisite standard.  It was foreseeable in our respectful submission that where two appellants are seeking orders from the court each one might, in making their submissions, advance arguments which are not identical.  Secondly the application itself was made way out of time of the time limit which was set by your court.”

The case was first heard by the former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, who ruled that complaints about abuse by a public officer should not seek recourse in the civil courts. The Government of Belize maintains that the Treasury Department is owed a hefty sum of money from the sale of parcels of land which retailed at four thousand dollars each.

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5 Responses for “Caribbean Court of Justice considers case of two former ministers”

  1. GUINEA GRASS Observer says:

    More millions of dollars for Loise Young (the ex-wife of Dean Barrow)

    The last pay-check that Loise received for representing GOB was 1.2 million dollar [ Available at: ]

    What probability does GOB has to win ??? or just a strategy to legally steal money of Belizeans ???

    Just another strategy to transfer public funds to personal account!!!!

  2. javier solis says:

    Tell you the truth, i dont like this sacking lawyer Kaseke for some reason. I hate it when he represents Belize abroad and gives the impression that he is Belizean. He is certainly not. I wish he would leave our country.
    You notice how all his representations are for white color crimes? I will never forget the issue with SSB, where during the hearings, he was council for the Board, then afterwards, challenged his own advise to the Bosrd in favor of Narda Garcia. This guys reeks of improper behaviour if not corruption.

  3. javier solis says:

    GG above has a micro- mindset. He thinks of lawyers fees instead of the fact that GOB is trying to set this ship straight. There are Ministers from both parties who have very sticky fingers, and should be held accountable.
    Let us set an example and forget the cost for a minute. My father once told me he paid 50 cents to recover a shilling from a deep drain. He wanted that particular shilling since it meant something to him. he was willing to spend twice to get it back. We must be prepared to invest in restoring integrity in our public officials.

  4. Proud Belizean says:

    Good info GG OBserver. Javier…how di hell can we ignore 1.2million dollars? You must be rich so that number doesnt scare u. We need the money for poverty alleviation and helping our own people in times of disaster.

  5. sabuskii says:


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