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Jun 10, 2005

B.T.L. refutes Godfrey, says it is not paying Intelco debts

It was a point that made all the headlines: Glenn Godfrey’s claim that Belize Telecommunications Limited had made an undertaking to pay the debts of two of his companies, debts now part of a special Senate investigation into the financial affairs of the Social Security Board. But tonight B.T.L. has responded saying, one, the board has not accepted any binding liability, and two, to date only one payment has been made towards the debt earlier this year, when Jeffrey Prosser’s I.C.C. controlled B.T.L. During Thursday’s public Senate hearings in Belmopan, the former P.U.P. minister contended that a mortgage for Western Caribbean, valued at nine point eight million and another for Intelco, worth seven point seven million dollars, had in fact both been included in the sale of Intelco to Belize Telecommunications Limited. Godfrey went so far as to maintain that the B.T.L. board of directors, when it was under the control of Innovative Communication Corporation and later the Government of Belize, had “undertook to accept the liability on those mortgages and accept the debt” and had made as many as three payments toward the loans. “Not so” says B.T.L., claiming that the board has instructed its attorney to verify whether any decision made by the Prosser board would be binding on the Government board.

As for the money paid towards the debt by B.T.L., News Five understands that a one time only partial payment had been made, but it came nowhere close to covering the amount owed by the Godfrey companies. Since then, we have been told that the board has stated it will not accept liability for something it has no value for. This latest development is a bizarre twist in the sad saga of the S.S.B. Senate investigation since it was the exposed fact that the S.S.B. board had been forced–as guarantors for a North American securitization programme–to pay out some seven point eight million dollars after the Godfrey company loans went into default that spawned the Senate investigation in the first place. What will happen next is anybody’s guess, as with the government still locked in a lawsuit with Prosser’s I.C.C./Belize Telecom in a Miami courtroom over B.T.L., Godfrey’s claim could just be capitalizing on the confusion, and any decision made by the Government’s board might prove moot in the future if the Miami judge were to rule in favour of Prosser.

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