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May 15, 2014

Court of Appeal decides who owns B.T.L. and B.E.L.

A small crowd packed into the Court of Appeal this afternoon at two o’clock to hear the long anticipated judgment of the Court of Appeal in the cases involving the nationalization of Telemedia and B.E.L. and loans from British Caribbean Bank. The cases were argued in October of 2012. Finally, after a delay of a year and a half which the court acknowledged was “unacceptable”, the court in a massive three hundred and twenty-two page judgment ruled that the G.O.B. was the owner of the nationalized assets of the companies.  The appeals of the B.T.L. Employees Trust, British Caribbean Bank and Fortis were all dismissed with costs. The decision was split two to one.  The local judges, President of the Court of Appeal, Manuel Sosa and Justice Samuel Awich ruled that the nationalizations were constitutional.  Trinidadian Justice of Appeal Mendez ruled that the nationalizations were unconstitutional. He went further to rule that the complainants should be paid damages for breach of their constitutional rights and said he would have given the parties liberty to apply for any further relief they thought appropriate.  The lead majority decision was delivered by Justice Awich in a one hundred eighty-eight page judgment with the President, Manuel Sosa, concurring in a short ten page judgment.  Immediately following the ruling, the media got reactions as interested parties departed the courtroom.  

 

Reporter

“From our understanding it seems as if though this is a monumental win for the Government of Belize. The reacquisition of B.T.L. is ruled lawful and the Fortis appeal is dismissed. Can you explain?”

 

Denys Barrow

Denys Barrow, Attorney for the Government of Belize

“I think that’s a beautiful summary by you. I like it.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, but give us a reaction, in your own words…”

 

Denys Barrow

“I don’t know that I could improve upon that…quite seriously.”

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for British Caribbean Bank

Eamon Courtenay

“It was not an overwhelming loss for my clients. As you know first of all it’s a majority decision. From what we have seen, just reading the last part of Justice of Appeal Mendez’s decision. Justice of Appeal Mendez went completely in our favour. He would have upheld…well he did uphold all the submissions that we made so I think that at least we have persuaded Mister Justice Mendez that the arguments that we presented were compelling and convincing. Mr. Justice Awich as I understand it ruled against us on all grounds. We haven’t had a chance of course to read what he has said but Mister Justice Sosa, the President, just concurred with him. So in terms of those who have given reasoned judgments, one was completely in our favour and one was completely against us. So I think the CCJ is going to have to have the final decision on this.”

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5 Responses for “Court of Appeal decides who owns B.T.L. and B.E.L.”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    And the loser is: the Belizean Public!! There is no such thing as a sad lawyer. The law is really and ass and a joke. You seriously cannot get justice with these jokers out there. We will reach a time and it’s here already when justice will be dispensed without prejudice and immediately. It’s already happening.

  2. Ali BaBarrow protects his 40 says:

    CCJ is going to have to have the final decision on this.

    And it will not be judges owned by Ali.

  3. Just another gringo in Belize says:

    Just wonderful. Al Capone has corrupted the court so bad that when they steal something the court supports them. What a joke.
    Tell me what person in their right mind is going to invest any money in Belize when after they millions of dollars into projects the government steals it.

    The government is too stupid to run business, that’s why they bring in outside investors. But if they keep biting the hand that feeds them, no one will help.

    Ohhh wait, that’s already happened.

    It’s outright theft.

    Speaking of theft.

    Mr. Erwin Contreras where is Benques ambulance?

  4. sydney says:

    How does the Belizean public lose Joe?

    Governments take property everyday all over the world through eminent domain and condemnation actions.

    Instead of falling into the trap of making a political issue about everything, you should evaluate the merits on our your own.

  5. Tara says:

    Sydney: Government can take and invoke all kinda eminent domain, public interest, but man you gotta pay. And man no government changes the constitution just to take someone property. No government.

    Oh sorry maybe venezuela, russia, cuba, and all other nice dictatorships.

    And whoever say that government ownership is good. name a single country where there is nationalization that people are dying to go to.

    nationalization is in itself wrong if done for the wrong purpose.

    everyone needs investment. why do you think you have a bank that you go to to borrow money. that is a form of investment.

    i can go on.

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