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Court rules video link testimony for “threatened” Progresso Heights directors

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Posted: Monday, July 15, 2019. 11:40 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ruled Friday he will take testimony via video link from the co-proprietors of Progresso Heights Limited, owned in part by Government Minister Wilfred Elrington.

But Elrington, a former attorney general, says he plans to appeal.

Lawrence and Adam Schneider say they’re afraid to enter Belize to testify in person. While they don’t accuse Elrington openly of threatening them with his authority as a Cabinet Minister, they say that past conversations with him have led them to believe that the minute they come to Belize, they will be jailed, or harmed.

Elrington denies the charges, telling Channel 7 News, “They’re making up these allegations against me. It’s not the first time they have, in fact, fabricated claims of this nature against me. This is a consistent pattern.”

A trial date will be set in this latest claim against the company, which involves cautions set up by Elrington as a minority partner to prevent the further disposal of $11 million worth of company assets, primarily land to be sold. Elrington says he wants the dividends from any sale and an accounting of the company’s activities, as according to him it has never held a general meeting or conducted typical company business.

A separate claim is before the Court of Appeal, concerning getting an inspector appointed to go into Progresso Heights and review their finances and business arrangements to ensure that everything was above board.

Back in 2009, the Schneiders retained Elrington as an attorney for the company, in which he now owns 20 percent. But things went sour and Elrington was sued for not following through on the processing of 16 land titles at the Lands Department for which he was paid. Elrington was not able to convince the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that he never got those land documents for properties worth several hundred thousand dollars, but somehow, all the necessary paperwork was done. So, the court carried out a procedure with the Lands Department to get new copies of those titles, which were then handed over to the Progresso Heights directors.

“I regard them as rogue directors….and then, you hire high priced lawyers. And then they try to extinguish your right. But, they’ve met the wrong person. I will go to the CCJ with them,” Elrington said.

He represented himself while attorney Priscilla Banner represented Progresso Heights Limited.

 

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