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Nov 22, 2022

Former P.M. Dean Barrow Files Application for Judicial Review in $3.1 Million C.I.B.L. Case

Former Prime Minister Dean Barrow has launched an application for judicial review before the Supreme Court on behalf of his clients at the Caribbean International Brewery Limited, in Orange Walk District. As we have reported, authorities seized over three million dollars in cash from the brewery’s compound near Carmelita Village during an operation on October seventh. Since then, the producers of Mine Beer have been locked in a legal battle before Magistrate Deborah Rogers in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court, because the Financial Intelligence Unit (F.I.U.) has requested to hold on to the seized funds for an additional three months.  On October twenty-sixth, Barrow made an application for a case stated before Magistrate Rogers, which is basically a request to have the Supreme Court’s opinion on certain aspects of the hearing. He submitted the application with a view to challenge decisions made by Magistrate Rogers in relation to his clients. Well, last week Barrow took it a step further and filed an application for permission to bring a judicial review against Magistrate Rogers and the Attorney General’s Office. Barrow is asking the Supreme Court to determine that the magistrate has erred in her rulings, and that his client’s constitutional rights have been violated in the process. We spoke with Barrow via Zoom this evening.


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow, Attorney-at-Law

“We have launched a challenge by way of an application for judicial review. Judicial review is in two stages, you have to first get permission to bring judicial review. So, yesterday the application for judicial review came on for hearing. At the time when you apply for leave to bring judicial review you also ask for a stay or an injunction. You say to the court, if you give me leave to bring judicial review I want you at the same time to stay the proceedings before the magistrate. Godfrey Smith appeared for the government and the magistrate and said he was not prepared to argue the question yesterday because we had just filed it last week and they just retained him over the weekend. So, the magistrate said indeed we will have to adjourn the hearing for the application for permission. I asked whether in the meantime she would grant a temporary stay because the magistrate is to continue tomorrow, but of course as was pointed out and as we knew, if she granted that stay it means the magistrate could not continue tomorrow and the last detention order she made, which is only to last until tomorrow would expire and the money would have to be given back even before we got the permission for judicial review and even before we would have won the judicial review challenge when that does get heard. She refused to give me that stay because it would have resulted in the cash having to be returned. Her position was, if you are right in all you are alleging, when you do judicial review and you win, if you are right, the harm that is being done to your clients by way of their monies having been seized you will be compensated in damages. And if you are right in saying the magistrate has gone terribly wrong, the court can make an appropriate statement, because I am contending that the magistrate has absolutely broken down, trampled upon all the guard rails that the law sets up to ensure that when to take a man’s money there is some level of protection.

I have already concluded that the magistrate will make the order. And, I am not about to waste time. I will go because that is my job and duty to the court, but I will not get into any kind of argument.”


In the meantime, Magistrate Roger’s will continue to hear the matter in Orange on Wednesday. Barrow says he does not expect a judicial review decision before Magistrate Rogers makes her final decision.


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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