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Sep 29, 2006

B.T.L. board issue statement on contempt charges

After three days of silence, the board of Belize Telecommunications Limited has officially responded to accusations that it deliberately ignored a Supreme Court order when it held its annual general meeting on Monday night. According to a press release issued late Thursday evening, the company says:

“B.T.L. understands that the injunction heard on twenty-fifth September 2006 was ex-parte and accordingly, the claimant did not give any notice to B.T.L. to attend. Furthermore B.T.L. has not been correctly served with either the injunction order or the papers filed in support thereof, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law. The release further states that because the court papers were not received before five on Friday “it is treated as having been served on the next business day. It is quite clear from the evidence that B.T.L. was not served with an injunction in according with the law before five pm on the twenty-fifth of September 2006. Moreover, B.T.L. and its board of directors had no knowledge of the terms of any injunction when it commenced its A.G.M. at six pm”. As for earlier reports that Jeffrey Prosser or his representatives were not invited to the meeting, the telecommunications company states: “All shareholders of record, including Belize Telecom Limited, were sent notice of the A.G.M. B.T.L. and its legal advisors are confident that once the full facts of this matter come to light, it will be fully vindicated both in the eyes of the law and the public.” And while the media release does not specifically refer to the claim of attorney Lois Young-Barrow that she personally handed over the notice of injunction to B.T.L. board chairman Keith Arnold during the meeting or reports that the court bailiff from barred from the meeting so as not to serve the board, the company contends that “events at the … AGM … have been misrepresented and in some cases maliciously presented by certain members of the public”. While B.T.L.’s position has criticized as unethical by a number of senior attorneys, the Attorney General and the Opposition, Prosser’s local lawyer, Lionel Welch has taken his case to the next level as this morning he told us that he will file contempt proceedings against the B.T.L. board first thing on Monday morning.

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