Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014. 6:22 pm CST.
Friday,December 19, 2014.PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: The government of Belize has vowed to put up a challenged to a decision handed down today by a panel of international arbitrators in the ongoing dispute between the Barrow administration and the British Caribbean Bank Limited.
The tribunal’s declaration is that government must BCB the sum of US$41,773,096.04.
The ruling in favor of BCB is over money which the bank had loaned Belize Telemedia Limited in 2007.
The government of Belize is maintaining that the loan from from BCB to BTL was contracted for an illegal purpose and should not be repaid by BTL, which was nationalized by GOB.
The legitimacy of the purpose for which the money was loaned to BTL is currently the subject of a pending case before the Supreme Court of Belize where government is seeking a declaration that the loan was illegal and not enforcible.
A government statement issued today said that “while the arbitrators awarded compensation to BCB in an amount equivalent to the face amount of the loan the arbitrators refused to award any additional compensation claimed by BCB.”
As explained by the official release “when the present government acquired the shares in Telemedia owned by various Lord Ashcroft related companies n 2009, BCB demanded payment of the loan and threatened to wind up Telemedia.”
It was for that reason, the government release explained that “GOB compulsorily acquired the loan from BCB. This meant that GD now owned the loan, preventing BCB from undermining the acquisition and winding up Telemedia.”
Government says that it has “at all times acknowledged its obligation to pay compensation to BCB.” With the pending case over the legitimacy of the loan from BCB to BTL still pending in the Supreme Court, government says it has obtained legal advice on the arbitration award “and will be mounting a challenge.”
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