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Jun 8, 2005

Lawsuit against G.O.B. opens in Miami

Story PictureAfter all the legal hauling and pulling, today in the courtroom of U.S. Federal Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages the case of Innovative Communications Corporation versus the Government of Belize finally got underway in Miami, Florida. Viewers will recall that Judge Ungaro has already dismissed charges of fraud, rescission of the share pledge agreement, and the payment agreement that Government had entered into with I.C.C. So starting this morning, the judge began hearing testimony regarding claims of breech of contract and violation of the Uniform Commercial Code of Florida. This afternoon, one of Belize’s attorneys from the law firm of Hunton and Williams, Barry Davidson, filled us in on what went on today in the courtroom.

Barry Davidson, Belize?s Attorney in Miami
?We started trial today. The Prosser folks put on two witnesses, a legal expert from London, a Mr. Oliver, who is a Q.C. [Queen?s Counsel] and they put on Bobby Lubana, somewhat briefly. We?re very pleased with the way things went today. We think the testimony was fine for the Government and we generally think things are going quite well.?

Janelle Chanona
?What were those testimonies in relation to??

Barry Davidson
?Well the legal expert was on all legal issues, issues on Belizean laws primarily, corporate governance, the 90-D2 director issue, issuance of twenty-four million shares back in December 2004 in regard to the Intelco transaction. Bobby Lubana?s testimony was sort of general on the financial performance of B.T.L., and again, the Intelco transaction.?

Janelle Chanona
?How big a role is Intelco and its assets??

Barry Davidson
?Intelco is just–it?s more than an ancillary issue but it?s not a key issue in the case in my judgment.?

Janelle Chanona
?Mr. Davidson, in layman?s terms, what exactly is it that Mr. Prosser wants? Does he want the shares back? Does he want his money back? Is he looking for damages??

Barry Davidson
?He?s looking for damages, he says the value of the shares has dropped since the Government attempted to exercise control on February ninth and he wants that as damages. He also says the value of the company has dropped since the Government–during the short time of period, February ninth to March twenty-first, that the Government had a majority interest. Yes, he?s asking for damages for all those things.?

Janelle Chanona
?Have you estimated how much he is asking for, the dollar figure??

Barry Davidson
?You know, it?s difficult to say. His damage expert will probably not testify until week after next, the judge is taking most of next week off. There have been numbers thrown around in the multi-millions, but I really can?t speak as to what the final numbers are.?

And speaking of money, tonight News Five understands that the judgment regarding the contempt of court fine of nearly two million U.S. dollars levied against the Government of Belize, has been deferred until later this month.

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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