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Aug 13, 2013

Since 2009 5 million paid out to private attorneys

Mark Lizarraga

A recent decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice ended before the House of Representatives when the government put forward a motion targeting the former prime minister and the then attorney general. At the Senate meeting on Monday, the motion was also debated.  But there’s another side to the litigation story – the side which is costing taxpayer millions of dollars. The Ministry of Finance has reportedly confirmed that since 2009 government has paid out approximately five million to its private attorneys. And that is only for litigation involving the Belize Bank, B.T.L. and Belize Holdings. During the discussion on Monday, private sector Senator Mark Lizarraga made pointed reference to the huge sums being paid out for litigation.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Private Sector

“We remain extremely concerned, however, that we still do not know the cost of the legal services provided in this case. Is it to be two million, three million, four million, five million? At this time, Mr. President, we recommend and suggest that in future, if adequate competency does not exist in the ministry or in the office of the Attorney General for any cases on behalf of the government, then we recommend that all independent legal services provided to the government should be put to public tender as is done for the provision of other goods and services.”

 

News Five tried to reach Financial Secretary Joseph Waight to confirm which law firms have shared the almost five million paid out since 2009. He was unavailable. But looking back at our archives, we note that a number of cases the government has outsourced have gone to Barrow and Williams, Young’s Law Firm and Barrow and Company.

 

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1 Response for “Since 2009 5 million paid out to private attorneys”

  1. Rod says:

    All these monies being paid out to family and friends of judas barrow the thieving continues with no end in sight this corrupt pm and gov are destroying this country from within when the coup comes they will all be locked up in jail and all monies confiscated what thieves damm.

  2. Love says:

    No wonder the only good lawyers to fight cases on behalf of Government is ex wife and brother! Belize don’t have any other good lawyers..lol Yeah Right! Like we believe you. Just think about the many government cases they have on their plate. We need to be CONCERN! The art of corruption is being perfected.

  3. Billey says:

    Lawyers fight cases on a % of the value. It could be five or ten percent, so we have to understand when the PM said he will see to it that Espat’s motion never see the light of day. Remember Ashcroft said BTL was worth 600 million dollars. So If ex wife or brother Barrow was fighting that case, on behalf of government for a measly 5% of that value, win loose or draw, that would amount to $30,000,000.00 in payment to them. One case thirty million $$$! Litigation cost government money, but it enriches others legally, hence the famous words BRING IT ON! PM don’t want this kind of information to reach the light of day, so HOW DARE Espat to want to enlighten the public by saying he want to change the composition of the public accounts members.. Hence the Prime Minister Dean last Friday called the Espat’s motion idiotic; saying he will rain fire and damnation on it! Smart MAN!!! LOL Wouldn’t we all agree that he is? I mean wouldn’t we rain fire and damnation on Espat too? lol’

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