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Apr 9, 2008

Government says it will sue Belize Bank for $10M

The announcement comes as no surprise but developments this afternoon have confirmed speculation that efforts by the Barrow administration to have the Belize Bank return the ten million U.S. dollars gifted to Belize from Venezuela will be decided in a long legal fight. According to the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Delroy Cuthkelvin, on Friday the government’s lawyers wrote a letter to the Belize Bank demanding that the money be returned in two working days. The response to that ultimatum came this morning as Cuthkelvin says the banks lawyers maintain they are under no such obligation to comply with Belmopan’s request and moreover, they want the demand withdrawn. Government’s next course of action, according to Cuthkelvin, is now to initiate a civil suit which should be filed by tomorrow evening by co-counsels Michael Young and Solicitor General Tanya Longsworth. While the court action is no doubt an attempt to ensure there’s no “foot-dragging” on Government’s part to secure the funds, it appears that the failure to come up with any stronger remedy leaves at least the timing of any eventual recovery in serious doubt.

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