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Jan 31, 2020

Is G.O.B. Running Its Financial Operations Like a “Panades Shop”?

Eamon Courtenay

Following today’s decision, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents the People’s United Party, broke down the Supreme Court ruling in layman’s terms before likening government’s expenditure of public funds to that of a small-time panades operation.  When asked if an appeal is expected, Courtenay says he wouldn’t be surprised, despite government’s lawyer conceding in trial that the Finance and Audit Reform Act was flouted on numerous occasions.


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney, People’s United Party

“To put it in plain man’s language, the Chief Justice, and these are my words, found that the prime minister has been operating the government like a panades shop and the result of this judgment today is to tell him in no uncertain terms that he must comply with the constitution, comply with the Finance and Audit Reform Act and go to parliament and get approval giving full disclosure as to how he intends to spend the people’s money and that he should stop behaving unconstitutionally.”



“Is there any indication from the other side or do you believe that they would seek an appeal?”


Eamon Courtenay

“I suspect if the government were to continue with its behavior I would expect that they would appeal.  The problem with having an appeal in these circumstances for those of you who were here would recall, and the Chief Justice repeated it, that their counsel conceded these unconstitutionalities which the Chief Justice has found.  So I think it would be a waste of the people’s money if once again we are appealing something that they have conceded.  We should not forget that something must be radically wrong with a government who hires an expensive Queen’s Counsel to come to Belize, to stand up in court and concede a case.  Why have they not gone to the National Assembly and corrected this if their own lawyer came to court and said that they were acting unconstitutionally?  It’s an utter and complete disgrace.  As I say, they are behaving as if this is a panades shop.”



“Where now does this square with the penalties under the Finance and Audit Reform Act?”


Eamon Courtenay

“Let’s deal with Mr. John Saldivar first and then we’ll see who is next batter up.”

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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