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Mar 13, 2018

How Much Did Lawyers in U.S. Cases Get?

John Briceño

The Opposition Leader John Briceño asked the government side how much G.O.B. has paid to local and foreign attorneys in connection with the arbitration cases in the U.S. courts. There are about four and Belize has had no success with any. But Prime Minister Dean Barrow dodged an immediate answer by questioning Briceño’s wording.


John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Considering that the Government of Belize has taken a number of cases to the U.S. courts, including the Court of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court, can the Minister of Finance please inform this honorable House how much the Government has paid to both local and foreign lawyers in connection with these cases, and if there are any outstanding fees that the Government still needs to pay?”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Mr. Speaker, when I saw this question, I wondered whether there was some sort of a misprint; but I’ve now heard the honorable Leader of the Opposition read the question and he has ready exactly what appears here. And what appears here is, “Considering that the Government of Belize has taken a number of cases to the U.S. courts…” We have not taken any case to the U.S. courts, sir; we have taken no case to the U.S. courts. Other people have taken cases to the U.S. courts in which we are defendants, but we have not taken any cases to the U.S. courts.”


John Briceño

“Can the Prime Minister, as Minister responsible for Finance, tell us how much he has spent in these cases that Belize was taken to court in the U.S.?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I can and I will, sir; but not now, because that’s not the question that you asked. In terms of what you are now asking, I have no difficulty. But the Ministry of Finance will have to go through the various invoices, disaggregate the items that have to do with the U.S. courts, and we will send you the figure in writing.”


There has been no word on any settlement for the arbitration claims or indeed further activity on them.

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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