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Oct 29, 2014

Julius Espat Sues P.M. Barrow Over Petrocaribe Funds

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as Minister of Finance, is being taken to court over what the Opposition says is the unlawful borrowing of two hundred and twenty-eight million dollars of Petrocaribe funds, and the use of an undisclosed portion of that total. The claimant is PAC Chairman Julius Espat and the suit was filed on Tuesday afternoon. The contention is that the loan agreement between G.O.B. and Petrocaribe is not valid since it never went before the House for approval. Espat is basically petitioning the court for a declaration that any use of the funds, absent the approval of the National Assembly, was unlawful according to the Finance and Audit Act. And for that reason, a declaration that G.O.B. does not have the authority or the obligation to repay that loan. Espat is also seeking an injunction restraining the PM from paying that loan to Alba Petrocaribe without an act of the National Assembly, and an injunction restraining Barrow from spending any more of the Petrocaribe money. The Opposition, and PAC Chairman Espat, have been openly critical of the government’s access to and use of more than two hundred million dollars from Petrocaribe. And to prove that their condemnation is not only politically rooted, they’ve put together a team of very eminent attorneys to take this case to the Judiciary.


Via Phone: Julius Espat, Claimant in Lawsuit

Julius Espat

“The team is comprised of Mr. Andrew Marshalleck, Mr. Eamon Courtenay, Mr. Godfrey Smith, Ms. Magali Marin-Young, and there’s a larger team including the legal advisor of the Party and other attorneys that have contributed to this. And so we decided that it’s important that we submit the claim so that the Judiciary can highlight to the Belizean people what is lawful or unlawful in this procedure. I am not an attorney but I have been studying this issue for some time since I became the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and I’ve read the Constitution. I’ve been reading the Finance and Audit Act and it is quite clear what needs to be done when a loan of this amount is gotten and when you need to spend money and all we are asking is for the law to be followed. And so the attorneys are in full agreement. They have just gone further to look at the technical details of why it is wrong and what needs to be done to rectify it.”


Mike Rudon

“What is it exactly that you are seeking, because you are named as the claimant?”


Via Phone: Julius Espat

“Well, we are seeking to make sure that the Government of Belize, any party that forms the Government of Belize, ultimately follows the law. In this case we are seeking that we have good governance, we are seeking oversight, and we are seeking that there is proper accountability and transparency. We are not challenging the government’s authority as the policy-makers to seek out funds and to also spend those funds. That is not what we are challenging. But if you seek out funds, you need to come to the House to seek approval. If you obtain the funds and start spending it, then you need to come to the House to show them what you are spending it on, who is spending it, and in what quantity and if you are getting value for money.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Julius Espat Sues P.M. Barrow Over Petrocaribe Funds”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    First, you don’t have to be an attorney to be intelligent to understand that Barrow has committed high crimes in stealing from the Belizean treasury. He is not only a thief but also guilty of aiding and abetting gang members of murder and assassinations, undermining our Belizean Constitution, and as such is a traitor to this country. You don’t need a charter issued by government to be a bank. Anyone can be a bank if one can lend his/her own money at acceptable rates. But barrow is the greatest charlatan ever, pretending to be a man of wisdom and a wordsmith and all the while is nothing but a scoundrel maliciously seeking his pound of flesh from his perceived enemies rightly or not. What an evil, grotesque caricature of a man!!!

  2. jake says:

    At least we can see some road and much needed infrastructure WORK BEING DONE!!!!!!

  3. David K says:

    What about Said Musa taking 20 MILLION from Venezuela and giving it away to his cronie friends?

  4. CEO says:

    Seems like politicians will always be able to keep Belizeans focused on the wrong thing.

    Just read the comments above. Stealing public funds is wrong and it should not matter if Barrow and his cronies does it or if Musa and his boys does it: it is wrong and we the people and the country suffer when this happens.

    When our elected officials get on national TV and state that their political party comes before every thing else you can figure why we are in the mess we are in as a people and a nation.

  5. Al says:

    All they are hoping for is that some money is left for them to thief when they get in power. thats all. But i don’t know why they are worrying. Both parties always find ways of stealing and getting richer, whilst the rest of us continue to stay impoverished.

  6. Louisville,Ky. says:

    @ Ricky Malthus, WOW!!!…..dah weh dah man do yuh soh, di bradda? Like….yuh still hurted mi P!!!

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