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Aug 22, 2012

Oceana says challenge seeks to expose issuance of questionable concessions

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

According to Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, the challenge seeks to expose the government for the issuance of questionable oil concessions.  She told the media this morning that the case is revealing shady oil contracts that have been granted in the past years.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Vice President, Oceana

“Well our position is basically that the Public Authorities Act does not apply to our case, neither does the Limitation Act.  We relied on the Court of Appeal case of [Froylan] Gilharry.  I think our attorney did a wonderful job of explaining what is the ratio of the case.  So it’s basically that.  I think it’s really left in the judge’s hand now.  He has to make a decision by Friday, or he will give his decision by Friday and the he will give his written reasoning. We think that this case, as I’ve always said, while we think it’s a lot about the oil issue, when you look at the precedent in our judiciary, the jurisprudence we are setting, these are points of law that have obviously never been fully argued.  So it also gives us the opportunity to develop the jurisprudence of our country while actually bringing to the public for something of massive public importance because one of the things government’s crown counsel argued [was], well why wouldn’t we have brought this claim earlier?  But if you all go back, remember no one even knew these contracts existed.  Some were signed in 2005, some 2007, some of them six contracts in one day, so it tells you the magnitude of what needs to come out and what needs to be revealed and this case is revealing it slowly but surely.  And I could understand and appreciate and I really, really humbly understand what the government is going through, the embarrassment when we begin to reveal what these cases have to say, you know, and it goes for both administrations.”

 

A decision on the matter will be handed down on Friday.

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2 Responses for “Oceana says challenge seeks to expose issuance of questionable concessions”

  1. Storm says:

    Oceana is doing an important job here. GOB is elected to work for us. The nation is not its private cookie jar.

    Public contracts and bids must be 100% open to the public from BEFORE they are made — it is our resources and birthright they are selling, and the nation should be the only one to profit, not any dirty politicians.

    This is a good step in the right direction.

  2. b.Jones says:

    good job Oceana. Someone has to do it. Glad to know that some can see beyond party lines & able to see Belize the country and the importance of holding on to it for all Believes. Thank you for your efforts.

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