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Mar 6, 2019

P.U.P. Seeks Permanent Injunction against Current and Future Minister of Finance

Julius Espat

Espat explains says that the claim is seeking a permanent injunction restraining PM Barrow as Minister of Finance and second defendant Financial Secretary Joseph Waight from authorizing the allocation and expenditure of public monies without prior approval of the National Assembly of Belize.

 

Julius Espat, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

“We are asking that the judge analyzes the situation and stops it, puts an injunction to not allow supplementary allocations to be done illegally. The hope is that precedence is set so that this Prime Minister cannot continue doing it or anything future Prime Minister cannot do it. Or Ministry of Finance, more than Prime Minister. It is just been a norm that the Prime Ministers have been ministers of finance but basically for the executive and the Minister of Finance. We are asking that an injunction is placed so it never happens again and then the legal parameters as to other things that the attorneys have placed in the claim. But that it the essence of what we are trying to achieve; stop doing it and by law do not do it again and in the future follow the rule of law based on the constitution and Finance and Audit Reform Act. If there is somebody else in the future that wants to change the constitution or the Finance and Audit Reform Act then you have to go through the process to be able to do that.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“If the justice rules that the Prime Minister’s or the Minister’s actions with regards to  appropriating those sum of monies was illegal, unlawful can criminal charges be brought or arise based on the judgment?”

 

Julius Espat

“Yes. That is not what we are asking for right now but yes. Because the same Prime Minister, the Honourable Dean Barrow in 2010 made changes to the Finance and Reform Act to make it a criminal offense to break that act. So he is the one that put it in the clause. So that possibility is there but my interest is not that. Our interest is not that initially. Our interest is to stop it. Our interest is to make sure that the leaders of this country both UDP and future PUP learn that they can’t do what they want. There are rules and regulations within which we are governed and they have to follow it.”

 

Espat and the People’s United Party are being represented by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay and Attorney Andrew Marshalleck of Barrow and Williams Law Firm. The lawsuit also names the Attorney General as the third defendant.


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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