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Jun 30, 2020

PM Barrow Chided Over Non-decision Comment

Eamon Courtenay

Aside from the ‘won’t pay, can’t pay’ statements from the PM, there is also the matter of non-decision.  When PM Barrow dismissed former Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling that he, the Minister of Finance, unlawfully spent over one point five billion dollars from the public purse, as a non-decision, it raised alarm.  The prime minister premised his position on the notion that a judgment does not occur until it is perfected in writing, signed by the judge and then sealed by the Supreme Court.  Not only is that position being challenged with legal precedence in Belize that contradicts the prime minister’s statement; it is also viewed as misleading, coming from a seasoned lawyer.  Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay chided the leader of government for those reckless remarks.


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for P.U.P.

“I was astounded by what the Prime Minister said.  Dean Barrow is a senior counsel, extremely experienced lawyer and he knows, a law student knows that once an order is pronounced by the court it is binding and effective.  To stand up and tell the nation, first of all, that he has researched and that his opinion is that it is a non-decision because the Chief Justice did not sign the order is misleading, it is intellectually dishonest and it is wrong.  There is a C.C.J. decision that comes from Belize in 2018, R against Henry, look it up yourself.  Paragraph Twenty-three says the complete opposite of what Dean Barrow told this nation.  Mr. Barrow well and truly knows that that is a binding decision of the Chief Justice and if he doesn’t know that, tell him to read paragraph twenty-three of the C.C.J. decision, the Queen against Henry.  We should not forget what the Chief Justice held.  The Chief Justice held that Mr. Barrow spent one point five billion dollars unconstitutionally.  The Chief Justice held that this was a violation of the Finance and Audit Reform Act.  That creates a criminal offense.  Don’t forget that Joseph Waight took the stand and said that he told Mr. Barrow that the money was not there and that he needed parliamentary approval and Mr. Barrow said proceed.  So he knowingly did it.  He is trying to distract the Belizean people from his unlawful activities.  It will not stand.  The day will come when he has to fully account and explain to the people for what he has done, hopefully not too long.”


Isani Cayetano

“How does this now become actionable?  What other recourse can be taken?”


Eamon Courtenay

“Well I don’t want to disclose it now but I can tell you that up to this morning, Mr. Marshalleck and I, who did the case and other attorneys, we had our discussions and we will be making our moves very shortly.”

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