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Sep 12, 2012

Oceana rides waves to trial with government

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

On August twenty-fourth, Oceana won a groundbreaking legal victory against the Government of Belize in which the Supreme Court allowed the organization to proceed with a claim challenging the validity of six offshore oil concessions.  In the wake of that decision, attorney Herbert Panton, who appears on behalf of government, told Justice Oswell Legall that he would be making an application to reject the testimony of Bud Danenberger, Oceana’s expert witness.  In court today, Panton announced that they will no longer be pursuing an application to rule out the evidence, consequently allowing the matter to proceed to trial.  News Five spoke with Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who says that they did not anticipate a change of mind from government. 


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Vice-President, Oceana in Belize

“We went to court this morning and, as you may recall, in the previous case when we won the strikeout, that means that the court agreed that the matter will not be struck out, that we can go to hearing, the government’s crown counsel had announced that they would then apply to strike out the evidence of our expert witness.  So since then we had been waiting for the notice of that matter but it never came.  So we thought maybe this morning we’ll be served with it but rather the crown counsel for the government rose and told the court that they’re withdrawing the position they had taken and that they would no longer apply to have the evidence of the expert struck out but that they will deal with it in the substantive matter, whatever that means.  So the good news to that is that now, instead of all the stalling we’ve been having with this case going to full hearing, we now have a date for full hearing which is the twenty-fourth and the twenty-fifth of October [when] we should go back to court with the expectation that we could go now into full trial.”

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2 Responses for “Oceana rides waves to trial with government”

  1. Storm says:

    We should all be interested in this case. I’d like to see the anatomy of how the government lets out valuable monopolies.

  2. big house says:

    Audrey she betta stop use Oceana money fi build da big house.

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