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Jul 2, 2020

PM Barrow Blames P.U.P. for B.I.S.L. Contract

Last Friday, PM Barrow preempted the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice by publicly stating that government won’t and can’t pay any damages awarded to Belize International Services Limited in respect of the 2013 ship registries takeover.  As it turns out, the C.C.J. has in fact ruled that the acquisition of the companies were unlawful and that it shows just how high-handed government was in appropriating IMMARBE and I.B.C. and then not settling with its owners. This morning, the prime minister shared a reaction to the scathing judgment that was handed down earlier this week.  While the C.C.J. is the final court of Belize, the PM kept saying that the government won the case in the local courts. While he acknowledged that the C.C.J. saw things differently, he pointed the finger at the Opposition for drafting the agreement with B.I.S.L. in the first instance.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“In terms of the decision itself, let us be quite clear as to what has happened.  Number one: we won in the Supreme Court; we won unanimously in the Court of Appeal.  The C.C.J. has gone a different route, they are the final court of appeal and we simply have to accept their ruling although, of course, we strongly disagree with it.  But if you in fact deconstruct the ruling, let us understand what has happened.  The judges, in the majority, accepted our contention that that contract was tainted with illegality, tainted by illegality.  In fact, that that contract was unconstitutional, but in effect what they said, while government ought to have tried to renegotiate the contract to see if it could be cured of the unconstitutionality.  Again, I make the point that they don’t know the animal with which we are dealing; but, in any case, let us be quite clear that that illegality, that unconstitutionality that they found is an illegality, is unconstitutionality they say perpetrated by the government and that is because government is government is government.  We know that it was perpetrated by a particular administration.  We know that it was the People’s United Party that in fact signed that contract in the way it was which caused us in the end to say enough, so the illegality and the unconstitutionality was perpetrated by the very lot that runs to court every two minutes to talk about breaches of the Finance and Audit Reform Act, breaches of the constitution.”


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