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Court of Appeal strikes down Belize Bank arbitration award enforcement

Posted:Saturday, March 25, 2017. 8:40 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Court of Appeal has refused to allow the Belize Bank to enforce a $36.9 million (plus interest), arbitration award against the Government of Belize.

The COA handed down a majority decision on Friday, upholding the Supreme Court’s decision, preventing the Bank from enforcing the award, granted by the London Court of International Arbitration, which it says was against public policy.

 Attorney for the Belize Bank, Eamon Courtenay, said that he suspects his clients may consider taking the case to the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellate court.

The case dates back to 2004, when then Prime Minister Said Musa, guaranteed payment to Belize Bank on behalf of Universal Health Services Co. Ltd. In 2007, the Musa administration entered into a $33 million settlement agreement with the Belize Bank, but later failed to pay, and the Bank began arbitration proceedings.

Those proceedings were dropped, the parties, settled; however, in 2008 the GOB, under the administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, refused to pay and filed for Supreme Court proceedings to nullify the original loan settlement.

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