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Supreme Court declines to enforce Belize Bank arbitration award

supreme_court_bThursday, February 5, 2015. AARON HUMES Reporting: This morning Supreme Court Justice Shonna Griffith declined to enforce the BZ$39 million arbitration award granted to the Belize Bank Limited by the London Court of International Arbitration on the basis to do so would be contrary to public policy.

The Court held that there was no evidence that the administration of former Prime Minister Said Musa had sought parliamentary approval to enter into a loan guarantee with the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of Universal Healthcare Partners which bought the assets of the former Universal Health Services in 2007.

The Court said that without such approval there was no way to enforce payment of the monies granted under the arbitral award. This is because the Finance and Audit Reform Act legislates that such approval is needed for any over BZ$10 million.

Speaking after the judgment, attorney for the government senior counsel Denys Barrow said he expected that his opponents would appeal as far as the Caribbean Court of Justice which decided a similar case in 2013.

The other side has deferred comment until it has had a chance to read the judgment. Lord Michael Ashcroft and other representatives of the Belize Bank were at court this morning for the judgment but declined comment to the media as they left.

More on this story later.

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