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Nov 22, 2017

Vindication for Ex-P.M. Musa in U.H.S. Affair

The source of the lengthy proceedings is former Prime Minister Said Musa, whose administration back in 2004 entered into an agreement by signing a loan note between the Belize Bank and Universal Health Services.  The People’s United Party government assumed the twenty-nine million dollar debt when UHS failed to pay the loan.  When details of the questionable agreement came to light, Belizeans took to the steps of the Assembly Building en masse to protest against the Musa administration.  Not too long thereafter, another scandal broke when it was discovered that government flouted the Finance and Audit Reform Act by diverting twenty million U.S. dollars to settle the private UHS debt.  Those monies were gifted to the Government of Belize by the Venezuelan and Taiwanese governments on behalf of the people of Belize.  When the United Democratic Party took office in 2008, government commenced criminal action against the former prime minister when he was charged with theft.  Ironically, Musa sat in on the CCJ judgment this morning and told the media afterwards that he is completely exonerated.


Said Musa

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister

“The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been saying that for the last nine years or more, but I feel very, fully vindicated today.  Again, when the Caribbean Court of Justice has ruled that the agreement that was made, the settlement that was made over the UHS debt that my government signed on to was valid and enforceable.  What is distressing is that this was totally unnecessary because Mr. Barrow, if he were that much of a good lawyer would have known, as indeed the U.S. Supreme Court, he’s gone all that way.  Can you imagine the amount of costs that this government has unnecessarily incurred on the Belizean people, taking a case all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court which will probably cost millions in legal fees, in addition to the judgment?  But let’s set that aside.  This one now, it’s our court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court of Belize, has now ruled that not only is the loan note enforceable, that the debt is enforceable, that the judgment is enforceable, but they have to pay costs of seventeen percent based on the original arbitral award which I am told by counsel who represented the bank, will amount to over fifty additional million dollars.  Now that is a shame and disgrace and utter embarrassment to this country.  Not to the government you know, it’s to the country, it’s a shame that our government should have saddled the Belizean people, in addition to the five hundred and fifty-seven million of the B.T.L. judgment debt, most of which had to be paid in U.S.  Now another fifty-odd million dollars, I’m told about fifty-two million or more in interest alone.  It’s horrible. It’s really distressing.”

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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