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Apr 4, 2019

Will Court of Appeal Hear Injunction Case this Weekend?

Dean Barrow

There are two hearings at play. One is before the Chief Justice and the other is before the Court of Appeal where as we said, the government is attempting to reverse the CJ’s decision. So will the injunction be lifted in time for April tenth?  It’s the most urgent question that’s on the minds of all Belizeans and today, the government says it’s a step closer to meeting that deadline, despite what appear to be insurmountable odds.  Late this afternoon, the notice of appeal was filed.  Along with that legal paperwork, comes a notice of motion to move the process along speedily.  But it doesn’t appear that the stringent timeline will be met since the Opposition has gone on record to say that it will insist on a fair trial and that means granting both sides adequate time to prepare a subsequent round of arguments before the Court of Appeal.  The President of the Court of Appeal is Manuel Sosa and the members are Justices Minnet Hafiz and Samuel Awich. We spoke with Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte this evening and he says that they are going full steam ahead even if it means that the jurists on the bench of the appellate court may have to work this weekend.


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Today we filed our notice of appeal against the Chief Justice’s ruling yesterday and we also filed a notice of motion to have that appeal done expeditiously.  So what we are hoping for is that the appeal being filed today, the President of the Court of Appeal could look at it today and hopefully by tomorrow give us an indication as to when he will hear the appeal and it is my hope that he hears the appeal Saturday, Sunday or the latest Monday.  There is precedent for the courts to sit on the weekends, so it wouldn’t be strange if the president feels it proper to indicate to the parties that the appeal will be heard Saturday or Sunday.  So that’s the plan.  We have filed an appeal to the Chief Justice’s decision to grant the injunction yesterday.”


Isani Cayetano

“The prime minister, and perhaps this comes behind what you are explaining, the prime minister on Wednesday kind of gave an outline of what he would have wanted or what he expects to see in respect of this timeline that you just outlined.  Barring that, what happens?”


Michael Peyrefitte

“Well, you have to understand, the nation has to understand is that all the Chief Justice did yesterday was to essentially, at worst, delay the process.  That’s all that has happened.  He believes that the injunction was necessary given the serious issues that he considered and we believe then that if we can get a hearing before the Court of Appeal, either tomorrow or the latest, Monday and if the Court of Appeal reverses the decision of the Chief Justice then we still have this referendum on April tenth.”

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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