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Jun 30, 2016

Was 7 Years of Litigation Necessary?

Dean Barrow

B.T.L. was appropriated in 2009, and the approximately two hundred million dollars in interest alone is the result of there being no settlement of the matter until the arbitration panel’s decision days ago. But was it really necessary for the matter to be dragged out seven years? Could there have been some sort of settlement long ago, saving Belizeans hundreds of millions of dollars in interest?


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The matter could not have been settled because there was no meeting of the minds between the two parties. What proved to be an absolute sticking point was of course the Accommodation Agreement, but that apart, as you have seen in terms of the award and the figures I recited the former owners were claiming ten dollars and twenty off cents per share. We were never going to pay that. So there could not have been any agreement. What we offered was far less and what we now have to pay is far less. I am saying on the basis of the per share value you’re talking about two dollars and twenty-off cents as opposed to the ten dollars and twenty three cents they wants. That is why there could not have been any meeting of the minds. Remember that until the last minute the former owners were not…it wasn’t only about compensation, they wanted back the company and you will recollect that the Constitutional challenge of the acquisition proceeded all the way to the Caribbean Case of Justice. The matter was heard and completed in so far as argument and submissions went. And a judgment was to have been given in the October term, the last year October term. At that point we were able to conclude the negotiations with Lord Ashcroft and so that is when the matter finally ended in terms of all that was left was to wait for the arbitration panel’s finding.”

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