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Nov 2, 2011

P.M. seeks Int’l Attorney for Universal case

Dean Barrow

Universal Health Services was the private hospital whose debt was guaranteed by the government to the Belize Bank. In 2007, it caused protests in the capital. The bank was owed thirty million dollars and when it was time to pay up, the hospital did not have the cash, and it became a government debt and a legal battle. The Privy Council ruled in favor of the bank and the mounting interest takes the final tally up to forty million dollars. Prime Minister Barrow knows that the battle to stave off the debt is not over and so he says, he will now go to arbitration.

Dean Barrow

“The Privy Council ruling does open the door to an attempt on the part of the Belize Bank and the Ashcroft Alliance to recover the sums under the loan that the Privy Council has now found to be valid. The bank and the alliance had already commenced arbitration proceedings and those proceedings were halted by the Arbitration Panel abroad to await the ruling of the Privy Council. There is one aspect of the bank’s claim that was rejected by the arbitration panel, but in terms of this particular issue, the panel chose to suspend its processes until the decision came down. Now that the decision has been handed down, I expect that the arbitration panel will reconvened. We had not participated at the start of these proceedings. We have to feel that that panel is not cut from the same cloth as that of the other panels that have presided over some of the alliances of other claims. I believe we will have to rethink our position. And I believe that we will be represented at resume hearings of the arbitration panel since as I said the Privy Council decision clears the way for the bank and the alliance to argue with renewed vigor that the people of Belize need to repay this money; that the past prime minister and the past attorney general—the past leader of the P.U.P. and the current leader of the P.U.P.—got us on the hook for. The Privy Council decision does seem to say that while the loan is not invalid, recovery under the promissory note that Musa signed and Mister Fonseca either witnessed or cosigned—I can’t remember which—may be resisted. So it is not as though game set and match to the bank and the alliance, but it does put us on the back foot—the Privy Council ruling. And as I said since they will be using that as the platform for their renewed arbitration effort, I expect that government will have to seek the services of counsel abroad.”

The matter has been taken to the Privy Council and last week it ruled against the government. It means that the government must pay the Belize Bank close to forty million dollars.

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3 Responses for “P.M. seeks Int’l Attorney for Universal case”

  1. Lucas says:

    The signing of the promisory note may have been wrong but, no matter how wrong it was; it was and continue to be legal. Mr. Musa may very well had ended in jail for that matter but the promisory note, would had continued to be legally binding for it has a life of its’ own. One needs not to be a lawyer to understand that and, Dean should had known that better than any of us. The problem is that Dean was blinded with hate and proceeded without measuring the consequences. Twenty million dollares, from donations that could had help in so many other ways, was diverted to put the matter to rest once and for all. We would had never seen a penny of those twenty millions but, at least we would had the consolation that it did not come out directly from the taxpayer’s pocket. Along comes Dean who wrestled the twenty millions from the bank of which I did not recieve a penny cut in half. Now, we have not twenty but forty million dollares and counting staring right at us; not counting the millions that Lois has raked in fees. People who do not pay what they owe are called THIEVES and that is what Dean wants to make of us. The Belizean people must know that we have to pay and pay we WILL. Like it or not we will be forced to comply. Do not allow Dean to fool us. Musa created a problem but found a solution without hooking the taxpayer. Dean created a bigger problem with no solution but leaves the taxpayer hooked with forty millions plus legal fees. In my deseased father’s word: ESTE BABOSO DE DEAN NOS HIZO DE CHIVO LOS TAMALES.

  2. Jan says:

    In no better words it have been put. Politicians will always find a way to wave a false hope to us the poor people. So be it always the taxpayers shall pay. Here is a better idea make them freeze all the salaries the whole ministers get we will have a starting point dont you think.

  3. veteran says:

    The prime minister has enough relative to do the job,like his x wife who is making millions,his brother,his cousins,all !@#$%^& lawyers.pup is full of lawyers too,

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