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Dec 2, 2009

Channel 7 owner/Telemedia chairman says loan is illegal

Story PictureWhen the government nationalized Telemedia on August twenty-fourth, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that would bring an end to litigation. Well that was wishful thinking because the government now finds itself mired in a slew of legal battles; more than it can handle. The latest is over a loan of forty-five million dollars provided to Telemedia by the British Caribbean Bank in July 2007 for a period of four years. This loan is now the subject of litigation because Telemedia has defaulted on payments since August and the Bank is demanding payment. PM Barrow has said it is GOB that now owes the loan although it did not get the required House approval. Earlier today the new Board of Directors for Telemedia hosted a press conference at its Saint Thomas Street headquarters. When the issue of the loan came up, on its own volition, Telemedia went one step further and Chairman Nestor Vasquez, declared the loan to be illegal.

Net Vasquez, Executive Chairman, Telemedia
“The new board has been advised that under the laws of Belize this was unlawful and void and this board will not be a party to this kind of transaction. The bank is now also claiming an additional ten percent as legal fees in lawsuit which they have brought against the company.”

That was Vasquez, but the reaction from the bank was straight, that is, that the statements are plainly wrong and prejudicial to the bank and are designed to mislead the public. To quote from the bank’s release, “it is ludicrous and clearly legally wrong for the Chairman of B.T.L. to now announce that a loan which B.T.L. certified in 2007 was in order, is now somehow illegal”. The release ends by saying that the Board of Directors of BTL is taking its cue from the Government of Belize, and is now following what is becoming a worn-out and immediately recognized strategy of the current Government. This says the Bank is “to proclaim as illegal any and all contracts it cannot pay or does not wish to pay”. Late this afternoon, Telemedia issued another statement that to the effect that the bank was seeking to wind up the company, contrary to a statement made by the former C.E.O., Dean Boyce. We’ll have more on this tomorrow, but a spokesperson for the Bank told News Five late today that the Boyce cannot speak for the Bank.

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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