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Jun 2, 2023

Former Justice of Appeals Takes S.S.B. and Attorney General to Court

Samuel Awich

Former Justice of Appeals Samuel Awich has filed a claim against the Social Security Board and the Attorney General of Belize to the tune of six hundred thousand dollars. Awich served in the judiciary from 2001 to 2022 when he retired from the bench. During his twenty years of service, the judge earned less than two and a half million dollars in salary. He was entitled to ten percent of that sum, or two hundred and forty nine thousand dollars, as retirement benefits from the Social Security Board. Well, he claims that S.S.B. has failed to pay him. He brought a claim against the Attorney General of Belize for the same amount, in the event that the court does not make an order against S.S.B. to make the payment. According to the claim, Awich enquired upon retirement and was informed that contributions to S.S.B. may not have been made at all over his twenty years of service. Awich made a third claim against the AG for an additional one hundred thousand dollars in severance pay that he asserts has not been paid to him. So, all three claims in total amount to just about six hundred thousand dollars. And today, we got a chance to speak with Attorney General Magali Marin-Young, who told us that the records show that the former Justice of Appeals has been paid.


Magali Marin- Young

Magali Marin- Young, Attorney General

“The claim is for the retirement benefits provided for under the social security laws and another part of the claim is for retirement benefits under the labor act. Now, in terms of the Social Security portion of it, I am sure Social Security will get its own legal representation, but from my briefing from the registrar of the High Court, all his social security contributions has been made and we don’t even know if he has submitted the claim form that Social Security uses for you to claim the lump sum or the monthly retirement benefits provided to retirees. In relation to the other portion in my briefing from the registrar in the High Court my understanding is that all his gratuity payments have been made. Now, justice Awich was appointed to the Court of Appeal and his employment was governed by a written contract. The registrar informed me that his gratuity has been paid, four first class tickets to Uganda to relocate him and his family has been paid up. So, we are at a loss as to what additional sums he believes he is entitled to.”

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