Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017. 10:33 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Michael Ashcroft is willing to settle with the Government of Belize over its multi-million dollar arbitration award.
Ashcroft told Channel 5 in an exclusive interview, done in Washington D.C., that he has communicated his willingness to compromise to GOB on several instances. The government owes over US $22 million in arbitration awards, after it lost the case of BCB holding and the Belize Bank Limited v. The Government of Belize.
Ashcroft explained that the case resulted from GOB’s refusal to honor the Accommodation Agreement signed under the People’s United Party, which he characterized as being the terms the government had already given to Jeffrey Prosser in the mid 2000’s. Ashcroft said that if the agreement had been allowed to go through it would have turned a profit of US $200 million.
He maintained that it was the Government’s responsibility to ensure that all aspects of the agreement were taken through its proper course, however; the administration’s failure to take it through the House of Representatives, caused the Caribbean Court of Justice to rule that the agreement was unenforceable.
Ashcroft said that despite the CCJ and Belize court rulings, courts in the U.K. and U.S. have shown that the agreements are valid. It has yet to be seen if his declaration of willingness to settle will have any bearing on GOB’s pending coupon payment of the 2030 US Dollar Bond. Apart from poor economic performance, the arbitration award costs formed a part of GOB’s rationale for a third restructuring of the bonds.
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