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Jun 23, 2022

Barrow Criticizes Messy Commission of Inquiry

A hundred and forty-five thousand dollars in damages for former Deputy Prime Minister Hugo Patt, that’s the decision that has been handed down by the Supreme Court, following a lawsuit brought against the Government of Belize.  That claim was made as a result of findings published by the Commission of Inquiry that was set up by the Briceño administration to investigate the fire sale of government assets by the previous administration. That report, however, defamed the Corozal North Area Representative.  We’ll have more on the decision of Justice Lisa Shoman in just a few, but first we go to former Prime Minister Dean Barrow who chided the present government for making a mess of the public investigation.


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister

“Nothing was wrong with the mounting of a Commission of Inquiry, you know.  But, my God, you are elected as a government to rule, to govern competently and on the basis of thinking things through and on the basis of procuring good legal advice.  You’ve got an attorney general and whenever there’s need to, you run and you get outside counsel such as Mr. Mendes, who is a well-known and fine lawyer and you get, as well, counsel from CourtenayCoye.  With all that, surely you as a government ought to have known how to, in fact, undertake this commission of inquiry process properly.  There is no excuse for botching it up so badly, for trampling all over people’s rights when a moment’s research, a moment’s reflection would have served to point you to the multiple precedents of commissions of inquiry undertakings in the Caribbean and even the wider English-speaking or common law jurisdictions of the world.  So that you got it so horribly wrong is an indication of two things: incompetence compounded with malice.  One has to conclude that there was malice.  You couldn’t have gone so wrong in riding roughshod over people’s rights, except you intended to do so.”


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