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Feb 5, 2015

What Can the Damages in Nationalization of BTL Amount to?

Denys Barrow

The Court requested full submissions from all sides as to what remedies they should give in the event that they rule one way or the other. Whichever way the C.C.J. rules…the repercussions and legal ripples will be far reaching.


Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government of Belize

“If the acquisition was unlawful, then that raises some major questions, and this I think is where the Court needed to have the views of the parties so that when they make their decisions, the court is adverting to all the possibilities which are raises, adverting to all the ways in which they can make the different aspects of the award. If there was an unlawful acquisition, what happens to the hundreds or thousands of contracts which were made from 2009 to today, 2015 which were apparently valid and lawful…people dealing with the company thought they were valid and lawful. Are those all wiped out, only some of those wiped out, who will decide which is wiped out, etc? What happened to investments which BTL made? One of the things which the claimants have a problem with is the provision of services they say at an undervalue to the government and people of Belize. Should that be wiped out? Should that be negated?”


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Claimants

Eamon Courtenay

“It was a private company, i.e. not government owned and controlled, and as you are aware it operated in a regulated environment, and therefore it sought to maximize profits but subject to the Public Utilities Commission. Now you have an incestuous relationship where the government controls the Public Utilities Commission, and yet it controls Belize Telemedia, and so in truth and in fact there is no regulation, and so what you have is gross mismanagement, seeking to achieve political objectives rather than prudential business objectives. What it means, and the consequence for Belizeans, is that if the court says that the taking was unconstitutional and it reverts to the shareholders somebody, and it can only mean the people of Belize, will be called upon to pay the cost for the loss that arises from the gross mismanagement by the current management of Telemedia.”


 In the event that the shares revert to the previous management, the CCJ will be asked to assess the losses. Courtenay also address a number of other cases involving the Aschroft group of companies and we’ll have that coming up later in the newscast.


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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2 Responses for “What Can the Damages in Nationalization of BTL Amount to?”

  1. X-Ray says:

    Does this means SpeedNet (SMART) will sue the people and GOB for all the perceive lost of revenue caused by the strong competition to Digicel (BTL) lower rates?

  2. X-Ray says:

    The 9th Amendment will be over turned?
    “majority ownership and control” means the holding of not less than fifty one per centum (51%) of the issued share capital of a public utility provider together with a majority in the Board of Directors, and the absence of any veto power or other special rights given to a minority shareholder which would inhibit the Government from administering the affairs of the public utility provider freely and without restriction.

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