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Aug 4, 2008

Timeline shows Belize Bank had 28 minutes to deliver

Sources close to News Five say that attorneys for Belize Bank today sent a missive to the Central Bank of Belize following last Friday’s afternoon showdown in which the police, acting on instructions, showed up at the Belize Bank to arrest its President, Philip Johnson. The letter outlines a timeline in the sequence of events which the Bank says are both oppressive and vexatious. Johnson’s warrant for arrest follows a two-hour judgment delivered by Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh on Friday between nine and eleven o’clock in the morning, which lifted the injunction restraining the Central Bank from enforcing a directive which seeks to recover twenty million U.S. dollars from Venezuela and Taiwan gifted to the government of Belize. The Belize Bank is contending that immediately after the judgment, contrary to reports, it applied for a stay of the enforcement of the directives citing the Without Prejudice Appeal of the Banks and Financial Institutions Act. The timeline shows that the Stay Application was served upon the Chairman of the Appeal Board at two fifteen on Friday, on attorney Lois Young for the Government at two forty-five and on the Central Bank at three o’clock in the afternoon.

Notwithstanding, at three-thirty-two p.m., the Belize Bank, despite the stay application, received a letter from Central Bank demanding compliance by four p.m.—that is twenty-eight minutes to hand over the money. And by four-thirty, Sergeant Bernard Reyes of the C.I.B. was at the Belize Bank to arrest Philip Johnson but found out that he was away on holiday. At that stage it was impossible to comply with the Central Bank’s directive. Information from the Belize Bank is that it is requesting an early hearing of the stay of last Friday’s dramatic theatre staged by Belmopan against executives of the Ashcroft Group of companies. Viewers will recall that on July fourth, the police also showed up at the doors of Belize Telemedia to arrest its C.E.O., Dean Boyce.

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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