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Jul 29, 2016

B.T.L. Settlement Back in Court

Dean Barrow

Following incessant and expensive litigation over B.T.L. since 2009, the PM declared the half a billion plus final payment for the utility company a vindication and a victory for the government and people of Belize. If there was any very tiny silver lining in that dark cloud, it was that litigation was ended. But it’s not. It’s only just begun, again. On Thursday, we showed you G.O.B. and the Ashcroft Group squared off in court again over the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The Group is claiming that based on what was signed in Miami in September 2015; they are entitled to payment in U.S. dollars, seventy-million more in U.S. dollars. Central Bank has said no way and both parties have re-entered what must be very familiar ground.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Government does not want seventy million dollars more in U.S. currency to pay Ashcroft because government is absolutely convinced that Ashcroft does not serve seventy million dollars more in U.S. currency.  I need to be careful because the application is before the Caribbean Court of Justice with respect to the settlement agreement. But Ashcroft knows as I know and God above knows that our agreement was for that award to be split—that is what we asked the tribunal—so that it would be clear how much of it was for the shares and how much of it was for the accommodation agreement and that the entirety of the accommodation agreement minus of course claims for expenses, the entirety of the accommodation agreement was to be spent on the people of Belize. That is the only way I would have agreed to any settlement. For him to come now with an interpretation that would see him not only get this additional amount in U.S., but in consequence shortchange the sixty percent of the award that is for the accommodation agreement and so shaft the people of this country is absolutely intolerable.”

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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