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Jun 28, 2011

Former B.E.L. C.E.O. says Fortis is weighing its options

Lynn Young

When asked whether B.E.L. will consider legal action against the Government of Belize in light of the precedent that was set in the Telemedia nationalization, Young said that the legislation which was passed to seize B.T.L. from the Ashcroft Group in 2009 was initially created to wrest B.E.L. from private ownership.  While Young is uncertain as to what the Fortis Group’s next move will be he says that the company’s attorneys are weighing their legal options.

Lynn Young, Former C.E.O., Belize Electricity Ltd.

“Last week for instance was a rather interesting week in Belize’s history in terms of the government expropriating B.E.L. on Monday and then losing B.T.L. by the Friday.  It would seem as though the piece of legislation that was crafted to expropriate B.E.L. was based on the same piece of legislation that was used in August of 2009 to compulsorily acquire B.T.L. I could tell you more than that.  The legislation that acquired B.T.L., that’s why I said before and I’m saying it again that everything that happened at B.E.L. was orchestrated and it was the intention because the legislation that was used for B.T.L. actually in some spots it had B.E.L.  So apparently it was drafted for B.E.L. originally and it was hastily changed to do B.T.L.  Of course I’m not a lawyer.  I’ve read the decision and it seems to me that a lot of the issues that the Appeals Court ruled that the acquisition act for B.T.L. was unconstitutional seemed to me would apply to the B.E.L. situation also but I think that the lawyers would have to look at that.  But, you know, in business you have to look at what makes sense and I find that there’s just too much reliance on well let’s see what the court says etc.”

Isani Cayetano

“That being said will there be any consideration to challenge the government based on its acquisition of B.E.L.?”

Lynn Young

“I don’t know yet.  Fortis has been speaking to me about continuing to work with them because they do have significant assets in BECOL that they are looking at but I don’t know what their strategy will be.  They have lawyers who are representing them here in Belize and I’m pretty sure in some point in time we’ll sit down and look at that and make that decision but I mean even Mr. Finnegan would say ‘even blind Jamesy would see that what happened in Appeals Court has a significant effect on the situation with the government and B.E.L.”

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