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Jul 29, 2005

Crocodile farm has no case to answer, says court

His company just signed a hundred million dollar deal with Carnival Corporation and it appears that Luke Espat is still on a roll. This morning Magistrate Earl Jones ruled that the developer had no case to answer with regard to legal action taken against him by the Department of the Environment. The charges against Espat’s company, Belize Crocodile and Reptile Dealers Limited, involved their alleged failure to undertake and receive approval for an environmental impact assessment in connection with a tourism project near Biscayne Village. In making his ruling, the magistrate noted that the company and D.O.E. had been in negotiations over the matter, and the company had in fact submitted an E.I.A… which the D.O.E. never read, ostensibly because agreement was never reached on its terms of reference. The court found that essentially the D.O.E. kept shifting the goalposts and that the matter could have been resolved without resorting to legal action. Magistrate Jones urged the parties to now work together to resolve their remaining differences.

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