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Oct 4, 2010

Godfrey Smith says Prime Minister’s Law Firm still on Ashcroft’s payroll

godfrey smith

The nationalization of Telemedia is turning out to be the albatross around the neck of the Prime Minister. Last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow rebuked senior attorneys Godfrey Smith for writing a letter to Digicel Caribbean and Eamon Courtenay for a visit with the IMF. Barrow accused them of being unpatriotic and treasonous for also legally representing Lord Michael Ashcroft. The attorneys struck back with blazing facts that conclude that the Prime Minister is ‘in the closet’ about his financially lucrative relationship with at least one company owned by Ashcroft. Firstly, Courtenay disclosed the two faces of the Prime Minister when he publicly said that the PM’s law firm was representing the Belize Bank. In a televised interview on Friday, Barrow stopped short of confirming Courtenay’s assertion. Nonetheless, this morning on Channel Five’s Open Your Eyes, Smith emphatically stated that the prime minister’s firm is still receiving substantial payments from the bank.  The former attorney general then dropped a bombshell when he said that sources in the Labor Department confirmed that Barrow & Williams has been utilized to secure work permits for key employees of the Belize Bank.

Godfrey Smith, Attorney

“It is not that clients who go to the Belize Bank insist that their mortgages be sent to Barrow & Williams.  It is a fact that his firm Barrow & Williams in which he is a senior partner is on retainer to the Belize Bank for mortgages prepared or given by the Belize Bank.  It is a fact that cheques from the Belize Bank go to, Belize Bank cheques go to Barrow & Williams.  They’re put in Barrow & Williams’ account and the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is a participating member in the profits of that law firm.  So he cannot be heard to say that he is not, or his firm in which he participates in terms of profits is not retained by the Belize Bank.  Now as I sat on Friday evening contemplating the hypocrisy that surrounded me what should happen better but I should receive a fax.  There was no number at the top it just said zero, zero, zero but from my perusal of the notations on it, it appears to have emanated from within the Labor Department.  What is clear from what I received is that while the prime minister gets up and puts on this show of this so called Ashcroft Group of Companies and the people oppressing and down-trodding the Belizean and he’s engaged in a fight to rid Belize of them, it is his law firm, Barrow & Williams, that processes all the work permits for these foreigners from the so called Ashcroft Group of Companies, the so called oppressors and down-pressers to come and work in Belize.  That smacks of hypocrisy, it smacks of, it not smacks its outright rank, wrenk double standards and hypocrisy.”

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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24 Responses for “Godfrey Smith says Prime Minister’s Law Firm still on Ashcroft’s payroll”

  1. Augustus says:

    THANK GOODNESS that we have Courtenay and Smith saying what so many of us Belizeans know. Normally, I am never in favor of these political back and forths, but when you look at how Dean Barrow operates it is indeed necessary. Barrow malices all who call him on his shortcomings. In every country, the opposition criticizes those in power, but it seems only in Belize does the head of state call radio shows to bad-mouth people, write slanderous articles in the newspaper, and behave like a crass primary school student during meetings of PARLIAMENT. What is Dean Barrow’s legacy? People will remember him as a very vindictive and arrogant man. He regularly circumvents the constitution to get his way. However, he is set for life, he set up several friends and members of his family with powerful, high-paying jobs. I suppose he doesn’t need to care about what people think about him anymore.

  2. Alexis Arzu says:

    Being paid for mortagage arangement of private companies and private individuals is totally different from being paid to fight against Belize, the Satte of Belize and her people.

  3. MP says:

    Dean Borrow is ruining the lives of Belizeans. People need to get together and get rid of this two-faced hypocrite.

  4. Edith says:

    Godfrey really blasting PM. He bit off more than he can chew.

  5. rod says:

    i have told you guys this pm is no good no gooddddddddddddddddd he needs to resign resign judas barrow see why i call him judas because he will sell out belize for a few pieces of silver out out with you judas barrowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww you are the biggest traitor in belize traitorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr judas barrow

  6. BelizeanNYorker says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised but the question is why haven’t this been made light of earlier? Isn’t there someone who has to sign off on these agreements to say they are no conflict of interest with all parties involved (and is so have them stated for furthur review) and in their professional opinion everything is according to law? And if they are agreements made with conflict(s) of interest present does that not that make all business transactions not legally binding and they must return profits earned?

    I think they’re is a need for more competition, the ministers or few people who have money to invest are the only ones reaping the profits. They are many well educated lawyers, financial advisors, accountants etc.. in Belize; lets get some business competition going and if newly qualified firms aren’t getting any of these contacts or break the monopoly on major contracts being signed then it would be obvious that some sort of investigation needs to take place in the way business is being done in Belize!

    People off all levels need to be held accountable and serious consequences must be enforced if the law is not being abided.

    Lets Get It Together My People!

  7. Cutty Ligiyaba says:

    Prior to the demise of Enron which was a company with huge assets and managed by smart

    guys. Investors and the general public were fooled for a long time by these so called smart

    guys–who have long been creating their truth and living by these new lies as though they were

    gospel. Mr. Fastow created a lot of little companies so as to cook the books and pretend that

    business was profitable for this company–The fact that guys like Fastow can have control over

    millions is because he was trusted to continue with his schemes by his cronies—We all know

    what happened when the …..—hit the fan—Enron collapsed and took alot of once respected

    companies along with it–some committed suicide–others got life in prison and some just got

    hit by huge fines——–What does Enron got to do with Belize—-nothing Enron is dead and a lot

    of people is still punishing because of the trickery from a stinking few—Belize is on a path

    driven by greed—There is enough for one and all–but the unethical capitalist will take as much

    as they can–believe there own lies and will disappear with what the Belizean people needs for

    the future.

  8. Belize It says:

    Sooo? Who’s side is Smithie on apart from his own?

  9. Alan Jonws says:

    This is very serious, we as a people need to start hold these elected officails accountable for all these corruption, why can’t law remove these kinds of people from the government thats high level of hypocracy, and nothing will be done about it. Belize this entire Country is just a JOKE…

  10. Common Sense says:

    “That smacks of hypocrisy, it smacks of, it not smacks its outright rank, wrenk double standards and hypocrisy”

    Yes Smith, it sure does – sounds just like the PUP government you served.

    ……… Old news, everyone knows the workings of politricks by now. They dont care what they say and what they do – fill the pockets is the main goal.

  11. Global Perspectives says:

    This is beyond a joke now. Mr Godfrey Smith, Mr Barrow and Mr Courtenay, please can I ask you all to get on with working in the country’s best interest. You know if you really want us the people of Belize to believe that Mr Ashcroft a very shrewd business man worth million upon millions of British pounds (STERLINGS) was losing money in this way he would have put a stop to this immediately. Can you provide hard evidence like documents of this alleged business relationship between the PM and your client?

    What I want to say to both you Mr Smith and Mr Courtenay sometimes (I am not saying that you are) when you are right, the actions that you choose to take may make you seem like the bad guy in the end. I still ask how you think your initial action was in the best interest of Belize. or is it just a case of your legal profession acting here and its all about winning at all cost. Really if you step outside and look at your actions it is so absurd.

    If you are surely representing this man, perhaps I would you suggest another approach because it has left me wondering how is it that one man can cause so much uproar in the political sphere of Belize. Then maybe it is right that we do all that is possible to stop him from investing in the country. I am sure there is far less controversial figure willing to invest; on the other hand it may be a case that Ashcroft really has a genuine willingness to see good things for Belize but the corruption of you people taints him.

  12. deedee says:

    6 & half a dozen…PUP & UDP

  13. Coralblack says:

    (Bunch of house ……! well fed slaves yo call dem!). No politician cant give me any amount of
    money fi work fi them, and do their dirty work, mek them do it themselves. I rather starve first;
    than to work for these parasites. People keep working for them, and then get mad when things like this happen, dah uhnuh keep doing them dirt fi them, how else can it get done, cause
    it’s apparent them scared fi do it themselves, (just fi wahn belly full); give me a break. YHWH El Shaddai

  14. informed says:

    People. The bottom line is that no matter which political party is in power there will be always corruption, lies, malice and malintent. And sadly it will never stop. It will never stop until the people of Belize stop being complacent, stand up and say enough is enough. Belizeans all over the world read the news back home [online] and want to do something to help [myself included], but the [current] Government of Belize doesn’t want our help [i.e. interference]. You are only “allowed to help’ if you are a friend or a family member. We can all lie to ourselves and say red is better than blue, or vice versa, but deep down we all know that ALL-A DEM DA TEEF! Some are just better at hiding it than others. Belizeans at home and abroad need to hold our ELECTED officials accountable for their actions. We elected them. They ARE accountable to us! Augustus refered to the Prime Minister as the “Head of State”. He is NOT! The Queen is out Head of State. The Prime Minister is the Head of Government, an elected position, accountable to the people how elected him. Let’s stop talking and do something about it! No matter is it’s UDP, PUP, XYZ! In the end, the people are the ones who continue to suffer.

  15. Verleene says:

    Godfrey for Prime Minister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  16. Elgin Martinez says:

    This man Barrow is all about himself.He care less what happend to the Belizean people.If we the Belizean people don’t wake up this man is going to ruin Belize.Can’t you all see the increase in the crime rate,unemployment is at it’s highest .Wake up Belize let’s stop allowing these people to treat us like some fools.Let’s stop worry about party affiliations and start thinking about the direction that this country is going.

  17. belizeanpride says:

    after this i think people should think with their head before the elect another hypocrite for p.m, lets think wise and not go with the flow of color when after wards we’re the ones being eaten by the politicians right on our face with no even having the chance to change what they are doing to us. forget about blue or red check the personality of the running candidate before you vote for them. even do i ain’t voting any more but for the those that are going to vote think wisely, cause for me i don’t believe none of the two biggest parties. see what we’re into, getting the real faces of the politicians eating our @$$ with no remorse while we strive everyday to cope with the hardship we’re all going through.

  18. Justine says:


    I almost want to say do not take these political games and gamesmanship too seriously. But I am an ordinary Belizean who loves Belize and want the best for her like the majority of Belizeans do. So I have to say take these shenanigans, and corrupt politicians and actors very seriously.

    Get rid of the PUDP Belize!!!

  19. Al says:

    What a shame, only in Belize does political crime goes unpunished. As Barrow oversees the affairs of state, just who watch over his crooked dealings. The man feels that he is untouchable. The real problem is with the Belizean folks who forget the …….ly deed of these politicians and re-elect them over and over. My prayer is that God raises up one honest person to get Belize back on track and turn it into the beautiful place it can be, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. Please join me in saying this prayer everyday and give God the chance to change things. The Bible says that God sets up Kings and He removes them. Prayer works, what do you have to loose, try it.

  20. MMMH says:

    It is a plain shame how our leaders of our nation go about carrying out the business of the nation. It is sad and distasteful! When will there be the day when our leaders will stop looking beyond the petty of the game of “DIE HARD” politics and make sound decisions that are beneficial to Belizean public at large. I refuse to consume myself with listening to the arguments on the news and as well getting in any discussion about any issue. The truth of the matter of the fact is that both major political parties in this nation is guilty of committing crimes against the people of our nation! In retrospect, the bible clearly states that when a corrupt man rule the people are in oppression and when the just rule the people rejoice. What we as Belizeans really need to be doing is to unite and back a political party that will look out for the interest of this nation. I am bamboozled however because there is none. I find it amazing that a small nation such as ours have so much technology and resources at our finger tips but yet there is no real progression. SAD! Smith, Borrow and the whole entire clique of politician needs to understand that the petty arguments of technicalities and finger pointing is plain futile and benefits no one … NOT EVEN THEM!

  21. lvl says:

    what about encouraging international investors NOT TO INVEST IN BELIZE?!! can u please ADDRESS THAT, mr smith! nobody cares who’s doing what tooooo. besides, that’s really not news. everybody knows that lawyers have very little morals/ethics. once it’s within the boundaries of the law of the land, it’s all good. it’s all about the benjamins, baby.
    BUT BETRAYING YOUR COUNTRY to satisfactorily SERVE THE MAN is a NEW LOW. and yes, i do feel betrayed by YOU!

  22. Belizean girl says:

    So Godfrey ignores the question, by bringing to light that they are really all in bed together and somebody wants him to be P.M. Lone foolishness and mass distractions!

  23. Don Pepe says:

    It’s time to get bring up a Zapatista movement here in Belize, armed rebels that tells this GOB that if you are not doing what is right we will go find you and put a bullet in your head starting from the leader, I know there is a lot of crime going on but $#!t this GOB really sucks and they got to go, put a price on their head.

  24. Barrow is Ruining Belize !!! says:

    Dean Barrow is the Mother of all Hypocrites !!! He cares NOT about the Belizean people. Can we ask HOW and WHEN did he become so Wealthy. We all know that he was not Poor, but since becoming PM he seems to have hit the JackPot !!!

    And then look how the MAJORITY of Belizeans are living !!! I cannot believe the things he says sometimes, how can he, when we all know the truth. He loves money and that is it. Trust me his Royal Family are getting richer by the day, the Belizean Public is suffering more and more…

    2013 is not close enough !!!

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